Polls all round Australia are showing that more and more people are calling on the major political parties to have compassion.
Bring the people detained on Manus and Nauru islands here for the care and safety they need, the Australian people are saying.
In Braidwood, the local branches of Rural Australians for Refugees and Amnesty are joining with the ecumenical St Bede’s Social Justice Group to form a joint body, to be known as ‘Braidwood for Refugees’.
The first initiative of this new body will be to put on a concert, a musical event of songs and talk.
Proceeds from the concert will support the awareness-raising work of ‘Braidwood for Refugees’ and passed on to refugee support services.
There’s a great line-up: the renowned First Peoples’ singers ‘The Stiff Gins’, plus their sisters who form the group ‘Freshwater’.
The Stiff Gins comprise singers Nardi Simpson and Kaleena Briggs, who formed the band with Emma Donovan in 1999, after meeting at the Eora Centre while studying music.
They call their music “acoustic with harmonies” and are regularly compared to another great Australian Indigenous band of women, Tiddas. Fresh from their epic shows in Sydney and Melbourne, The Stiff Gins’ performances are reputed to “stretch time, invite spirit to flow and transport you through song and story to both a higher and deeper plain”.
The band has previously won the Deadly Awards – an annual celebration of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement in music, sport, entertainment and community – for Most Promising New Talent and for the single, Morning Star.
At the concert, the Braidwood Cantors will also raise their voices supportively for the cause of refugees.
There will be speakers, too, highlighting the plight of people held for five years without charge of any crime.
It’s a free concert, but donations will be very welcome. Remember, any funds raised will go to refugee support services. Furthermore, there will be a delicious afternoon tea. Clearly, this is an event not to be missed!
See the concert on Saturday June 24 at the National Theatre on Wallace Street, 2-4pm.