Roseville community on the #RightTrack with refugee advocacy

Roseville community on the #RightTrack with refugee advocacy

The Social Justice Forum (SJF) delivered the #RightTrack Community Action Workshop at Roseville Uniting Church in early November, to help build values-based conversations with friends, family or MPs about refugees and people seeking asylum.

The #RightTrack Community Action Workshop is an Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) initiative that SFJ has recently partnered with, giving local congregations access to this invaluable resource.  SFJ team members, Jon O’Brien and Alex Hogan ran the workshop at Roseville that was attended by Roseville Church members, as well as neighbouring congregations, wider community groups and schools.

Roseville Uniting Church member, Gwyn Denton, said that justice for people seeking asylum is a community passion for many members. However Gwyn explained it is difficult to talk to friends and neighbours about it due to the polarising nature of the subject.

“[Because of this] we were thrilled to be able to offer an opportunity to explore ways in which we can have those conversations differently.

Ways to get past entrenched positions and connect with the sense of compassion and ‘fair go’ which is so much part of our culture,” said Gwyn.

The workshop is based on the “Words that Work” research that was commissioned by the ASRC. This research and workshop looks at how important language is in advocacy and justice for people seeking asylum.

“Perhaps the biggest surprise was how this approach to constructive communication applies so much more widely than just to the topic of asylum seekers, but to any situation where we find ourselves talking past instead of with one another,” said Gwyn.

SJF are planning two more workshops for the Hunter Region and the George’s River Presbytery in the New Year. For more information contact Alex Hogan at ahogan@uniting.org

 

Melissa Stewart

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