Fundraising for organisations supporting asylum seekers (e.g. ASRC) is an important aspect of the MASSG work. Total raised in 2016 for ASRC was over $8,000. Members have visited the ASRC on several occasions and are deeply inspired by their work. Numerous fund raising events have been held over the years including theatre and cinema nights, concerts, garage sales, spring bulb sales. Our flagship event is the traditional MASSG Annual Luncheon with guest speakers, in 2016 the CEO of ASRC, in 2017 David Manne, Executive Director of Refugee Legal. This year our guest speaker will be Professor Gillian Triggs, and the lunch will be held on Friday September 7th. Bookings open in July.
Holding events open to the public, to inform and raise awareness of issues. In 2017 we paartnered with St Francis Xavier Social Justice Group in two major events, Voices from Detention and Stand up for Justice.
Helping our local asylum seeker friends We assist individuals and families as they set up homes and businesses in Australia. A recent campaign has been for donated fabrics, which are sorted and gifted to asylum seeker sewers. Our thanks to our generous donors. We’re not taking more fabrics at the moment, but may start again soon. Here’s a link to a flyer we made about Roya’s dressmaking.
Supporting asylum seekers in the detention centre and in the community Members contribute in different ways, and their goodwill and good hearts are what has made the group so successful. One member regularly visited a young man in indefinite detention in Broadmeadows MITA (Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation) detention centre for about 5 years prior to his release on a bridging visa. Another member has hosted three young men in her home.
Keeping up to date Frequent Government policy shifts and a changing global environment affect the situation for asylum seekers and refugees here in Australia and across the world. MASSG members aim to remain up to date, circulate significant news and commentary and publicise any current and developing issues affecting asylum seekers and refugees.
Providing information to the community A well informed community is essential for a healthy democracy. MASSG has produced a series of brochures and pamphlets with accurate and objective information to help members and supporters remain well informed about the issues and find ways of assisting and donating. We run street and market stalls to promote discussion and give out information and petitions.
Letter Writing MASSG responds to issues by writing letters to politicians, decision makers and newspapers. A Campaign Group meets most months to write letters to the relevant authorities and newspapers about our concerns regarding current issues and government policies and plan submissions. Please email email@example.com to join the Campaign Group.
Winter Bedding and Clothing collection The MASSG has contributed to ASRC appeals by giving spare winter clothing and bedding for those who have recently arrived.
Attending public gatherings MASSG members and supporters attend rallies and public gatherings to demonstrate their support for asylum seekers and refugees.
Informal Partnerships and Networking Representatives from local community groups and churches are actively involved with the MASSG. For example, the Social Justice Group from St. Francis Xavier Church hosted a Information Night with Julian Burnside and the Living Faith Church partners with MASSG to host various fund raising events.
Finances MASSG is a voluntary community organisation. It receives no government funding and is completely financed with contributions from individuals. Members donate whatever they wish and fundraising events are held regularly.