Mullum Loves Refugees and is screening for a chance to help
LOCAL advocacy group Mullumbimby Loves Refugees is holding a film night and panel discussion tomorrow to help dispel the myths about asylum seekers.
Following the screening of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea will be a Q&A panel discussion moderated by former ABC Radio National presenter Mick O'Regan.
Aid worker Nicolette Jackson, who has spent eight years working for medical aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres, said the group hoped to increase awareness about the human stories behind labels such as "boatperson" and "illegal maritime arrival".
"There's not much we can do for the people on Manus and Nauru, sadly, other than lobbying politicians or writing letters, but there are lots of practical things that we can do to help the 30,000 or so asylum seeker people living here," said Ms Jackson, who is organising the event with Rita Youssef-Price.
Money raised from the $15 entry fee ($12 concession) will go to Brisbane-based group Communify, which supports asylum seekers living in the community.
"Many of these people are living in impoverished, vulnerable and uncertain circumstances," Ms Jackson said.
Panellist and founder of Lismore's Northern Rivers Sanctuary Program Dr Michael Douglas said the event provided a platform for discussion that took refugee policy outside of the political arena.
"It has not served Australia's interest, nor refugee interest, that refugee policy has been politicised," Dr Douglas said.
"We need to bring our community leaders, including politicians, with us in a new dialogue that is premised upon values that is centred upon the human heart."