Mayor's Message - 12 April
With the current crisis in Ukraine, we are seeing up close the destruction of war. Many lives have been lost and millions of people have been displaced by the invasion. People’s homes, businesses and livelihoods have been destroyed. It’s truly incomprehensible that we continue to see the injustice of war. Why is this a history we continue to repeat?
The current situation in the Ukraine highlights the plight of earlier waves of refugees to Australia, from other regions of the globe. As a country, our obligations under the UN Charter for refugees does not align with the track record of both sides of politics for the detention of refugees once they reach our shores.
I recently attended the Phillip Island branch of Rural Australian’s for Refugees (RAR) fundraising dinner in Rhyll. With groups all over Australia, the Phillip Island RAR is made up of passionate locals, all working together to raise funds to support refugee families and advocate for their needs. More broadly, RAR wants to see government policy better reflect the values of society and for human rights policy to be enshrined in law, to protect the rights of people who seek asylum in Australia. Bass Coast is a Refugee Welcome Zone and Council welcomes refugees and encourages the enhancement of cultural and religious diversity in our community.
In a fantastic way to support local refugees, on Saturday, 23 April, the Bass Coast Refugee Sponsorship Group (BCRSG) is hosting the inaugural World Music Festival, which will be held at the Inverloch Community Hub. It will include entertainment by local musician Aaron Lopez-Freeman and group, Karavana Flamenca, as well as multicultural food tastings and a live auction. This event has been created to help celebrate Bass Coasts’ cultural diversity, as well as to help support refugees to live in our welcoming Shire. You can book tables of eight, or individual tickets through www.trybooking.com/BXOZP.
Lastly, I would like to wish everyone a happy Easter - I hope that the Easter Bunny is kind to you and your family and that you enjoy the long weekend. If you are travelling for the break, it’s important to remember our roads are bound to be much busier, so plan ahead and allow plenty of time to get to your destination. Please stay safe.