Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) is holding a Telethon on World Refugee Day, June 20, to give people from around the nation is a chance to champion a more compassionate Australia, while supporting and empowering refugees and people seeking asylum.
Now in its third year, the ASRC Telethon is hoping to exceed last year’s total of $660,000, double the amount raised in the first year of the event. This enabled the ASRC to provide food, housing, medical care, employment support, legal aid and advocacy to almost 5000 people.
More than 40 local and national Australian personalities, musicians, actors, artists and advocates, will be taking the public’s donations from 6am to midnight.
Newly-appointed ASRC Ambassador, Dr Susan Carland, is one of the personalities supporting this year’s event. She was involved in the 2017 Telethon, taking donations in the call centre, and is encouraging the community to get involved this year.
“The 2017 Telethon was such a wonderful experience. The variety of people who called was remarkable, including an elderly nun who rang to donate. When the situation for refugees and asylum seekers in Australia can seem so politicised and cruel, spending a day hearing from everyday Australians who just wanted to help and show love was an honour. It was incredibly uplifting.
“When the situation can so often feel hopeless, donating via the Telethon is a concrete way to make a meaningful difference.”
Other identities working the phones on the day include Ambassadors Leila Gurruwiwi, of the Marngrook Footy Show, Corinne Grant, Mark Seymour, and Tamie Fraser (widow of the former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser), along with Gillian Triggs (former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission), Lehmo (Anthony Lehman), Father Bob Maguire, Brian Nankervis, Jen Cloher and Courtney Barnett, and the Smith Street Band.
ASRC CEO and founder, Kon Karapanagiotidis said this year’s Telethon was more important than ever, with more than 12,000 people seeking asylum at risk of destitution and homelessness following federal government cuts to income support.
“More and more refugees and people seeking asylum are facing winter without a roof over their heads,” he said.
“As an independent human rights organisation, support from our community is the only way we can keep our programs going. If we fail to raise the funds needed, many of the people in crisis will have nowhere else to turn to for help.”
He said by donating to the ASRC Telethon, individuals empowered refugees and people seeking asylum to live independently and rebuild their lives in safety. Donations provide life-saving support such as food, medical aid and housing, and advocates for the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum.
All funds raised make a significant difference to people’s lives and ensures the ASRC can continue to fight for the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum.
You can donate online, call 1300 692 772 (1300 MYASRC) or SMS HOPE to 0437 371 371 to pledge a $20 donation.