Asylum Seeker Resource Centre spokeswoman and model Imogen Bailey was at Shepparton’s Maude St Mall yesterday as part of the centre’s new ‘‘Hot Potato’’ food van campaign and on-the-road documentary.By Alexandra Bolkas
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre spokeswoman and model Imogen Bailey believes Australia should look to Shepparton as a shining example of asylum seeker integration.
Ms Bailey was at Shepparton’s Maude St Mall yesterday as part of the centre’s new ‘‘Hot Potato’’ food van campaign and on-the-road documentary.
The van left from Melbourne two days ago and will stop at 10 places in 10 days with the aim of busting 10 myths about asylum seekers and distributing 10
Ms Bailey said the most common myths she had heard were asylum seekers were criminals and economic migrants.
She was heartened people with conservative views on asylum seekers were happy to engage in dialogue.
‘‘The positives so far has been that even people who have very strong opinions that are set against asylum seekers, because of what they’ve seen in media, have all been open to talking about myths,’’ she said.
Ms Bailey said the common misconception asylum seekers able to afford to pay people smugglers were ‘‘queue jumpers’’ was misguided.
‘‘I have friends from Afghanistan, if you are from there and have houses, jobs, families, all the things that we have and a war breaks out, then they need to get out,’’ she said.
‘‘Just because they are an asylum seeker doesn’t mean they don’t have money; it means that they can no longer be in that situation, they’ve been persecuted and are looking for safety.’’
She said the Rudd Government, particularly with the introduction of the Papua New Guinea plan, was using the economic migration argument as a scare tactic and political hot potato.
She said the government should look to use the skills of those who seek asylum.
‘‘Australia was built on migration, they are highly skilled people that we can use in our community for growth,’’ she said.
She said Shepparton was a positive example of multiculturalism.
‘‘It’s really important in every conversation to see both sides .
‘‘More of Australia needs to know about Shepparton’s integrated migrant community.’’
Artist Nici Cumpston will hold a free Artist Talk at Shepparton Art Museum tonight, speaking about her body of work based around the Shepparton region.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Echuca Football Club has signed Joel Magnabosco and Kane Morris for next season.
On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
Police allege a man attempted to rob a Cobram supermarket today.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and Country Fire Authority will be performing planned burns in Goomalibee on Monday.
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