On the road to a more welcoming Australia
“Are we winning?”
It’s a question someone posed to me recently, and I had to take pause to consider what ‘winning’ might mean. For me, it spoke to whether we’re making any difference, or improvement in the lives of people seeking safety, opportunity and belonging.
As an organisation and movement, our vision is of an Australia where people of all backgrounds have equal opportunity to belong, contribute and thrive. Some days we seem to be advancing toward that vision (i.e. ‘winning’) and other days it seems to be disappearing over the horizon.
We recently brought our small team together in Adelaide to consider what’s working, where we can do better and what we might need to change as we strive for a welcoming Australia.
What was evident from our time together is that our greatest strength is in human connection.
When hope seems hopeless, it can still be found when we are willing to genuinely engage each other in our humanity.
Hope is found in the stories of people seeking asylum starting small businesses and funding a better life for their family.
Hope is found in the faces of the children and young people from refugee backgrounds discovering what it means to belong to a sporting team.
Hope is found in the coming together of Local Councils across an entire State who are committed to creating welcoming communities.
Hope is found in the laughter and conversation at community dinners between new and established Australians.
What we seek is not to ‘win’ but to open our arms and embrace. To remind and encourage Australians that we are generous neighbours, and that we are better and stronger together.
This work is as important as it’s ever been – and the invitation to lead and be part of that work continues.
Once again, we have an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to generosity and compassion through the numerous calls from Doctors, peak medical bodies, advocates, politicians, sporting stars, and everyday Australians to #SaveMedevac.* A community who recognise the basic right for Doctors to treat people who need it.
Thank you for being part of that community. We are better and stronger because you are part of it, and herein lies our hope.
* Even though the Medevac legislation has since been repealed the opportunity, to advocate for change, remains.