Refugees and asylum seekers
In 2002, the City of Port Phillip declared itself a Refugee Welcome Zone (PDF 205 KB) in support of the Refugee Council of Australia campaign. This declaration formed a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into our community.
Port Phillip Council supports the Joint statement by local governments in Victoria on asylum seekers (item 9.1) (PDF 223 KB).
Who are refugees and asylum seekers
To understand what is meant by these terms, view the Refugee Council of Australia's Get the Facts.
There are many common myths about asylum seekers. For more information about these myths and the facts, view the fact sheets on this Asylum Fact Check page.
Racism. It Stops With Me
The City of Port Phillip is proud to support the Racism. It Stops With Me campaign. We have committed to preventing racism by pledging to undertake activities in support of the campaign.
Racism continues to occur in Australia despite cultural diversity being central to our national identity. A survey by Vichealth with people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds has shown that almost two-thirds have been targets of racism in the past year.
The national Racism. It Stops With Me campaign, which is being led by the Australian Human Rights Commission, has been developed by a partnership of government and non-government agencies. For more information on the campaign go to the Australian Human Rights Commission Website.
How you can help
The City of Port Phillip encourages your support of newly arrived migrants and refugee families by supporting the work of the organisations below. There are many ways you can help including:
- Volunteering with an asylum seeker support organisation
- Writing to children in detention.
- Donations of everyday items or money
- Writing to your federal MP. You can find tips and your MP's details on the website.
Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project
The Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project is a locally-based project that aims to:
- Provide hospitality and practical support for asylum seekers
- Actively network with like-minded individuals and groups who are working for justice for asylum seekers
- Promote advocacy for the rights of asylum seekers
The project currently supports people who have been detained in Immigration Detention Centres. They regularly visit asylum seekers at Maribyrnong Detention Centre and take phone cards, tobacco, toiletries, food and clothing to those being detained. The project raises money for bonds that people on bridging visas are required to pay to be released from detention. The project also assists some asylum seekers who have decided to leave Australia because they have lost hope in being given refugee status.
The project also provides assistance and support to asylum seekers living in the community with access to toiletries, food parcels, myki cards as well as assisting with seeking housing and employment.
If you would like to make a financial donation, cheques can be made to Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project. Money received will be used to give practical support to those on bridging visas or those still in detention.
Refugee Welcome Zones
In 2002, the City of Port Phillip declared itself a Refugee Welcome Zone in support of the Refugee Council of Australia campaign. This declaration formed a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into our community.
We are working to increase the capacity of our community to accept and accommodate difference among people. We will continue to advocate and address issues of racism and discrimination.
Asylum Seeker Policy statement
Port Phillip Council considered the issue of asylum seekers at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 18 December 2006. As a result, the Council unanimously endorsed a public statement supporting asylum seekers and refugees with past and present connections to the City of Port Phillip. You can read the full Asylum Seeker Policy statement (PDF 15 KB).
Other organisations that can help
- Refugee Council of Australia
- Space2b Social Design
- Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
- RISE: Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees
- Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children
- Amnesty International
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (available in 10 languages)