St Margaret's News June 2019 | Page 11

Refugee Action Refugee Week (16 to 22 June) will be over (or almost over) by the time you read this. On 16 June, Refugee Sunday, Simon Clarke chose to focus on refugees as the theme for our morning worship service, preaching about the horrific circumstances of refugees and asylum seekers. During Refugee Week, Simon is (was) taking part in the Act for Peace Ration Challenge Australia, raising funds so that Act for Peace can continue to work with refugees. Refugee Week is an opportunity to celebrate the contribution refugees make to our society, while raising awareness, remembering and honouring the often perilous journey that refugees have taken to reach Australia. There were 68.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide as of June 2018. The need to draw attention to the challenges facing refugees is incredibly urgent. On Saturday, June 22, the Refugee Action Campaign will be holding infor- mation stalls at as many Canberra suburban centres as possible. A key focus will be on raising awareness of the medical emergency that exists among the people still trapped on Manus and Nauru. In addition, the Refugee Action Campaign is holding a public forum that may be of interest to readers: Save Medevac For Refugees, Monday July 1, 6.30pm, Copland Lecture Theatre, ANU. All are welcome to attend. On their Website, the group writes: “Since the Federal election, the men and women still trapped on Manus and Nauru have been in a state of despair. There has been a surge in suicide attempts and self-harm, intensifying the medical emergency that exists in Australia’s offshore detention regime. Instead of acting urgently to bring all those who need critical care to Australia, the Morrison government has indicat- ed that its priority is to repeal the Medevac legislation, which critically gave doctors decision-making powers regarding medical care. Any repeal would effectively return these decisions to politicians. Not only must we defend the Medevac legislation from repeal, we must push for it to be implemented in full so that all refugees can finally gain access to the medical treatment they need. Dr Kerryn Phelps, AM, who initiated the legislation, and Emeritus Professor John Warhurst AO will speak at a public forum and Q&A on this medical emergency, the critical need for evacuations and the politics that underpin this issue.” Holy Covenant Anglican Church in Cook (89 Dexter Street) will be hosting an ecumenical Refugee Week Service on Sunday 23 June at 6pm, with a light supper afterwards. Speakers at the service will be Rev Peter Malone from St Paul's Anglican Church, Manuka, and Megan Watts, Tuggeranong Uniting Church. - Brian Rope St Margaret’s News 11 June 2019