Welcoming Australia is an organisation and movement committed to working with any person, party or organisation who’ll move the dial towards welcome, inclusion and compassion. We’re committed to cultivating a culture of welcome and advancing an Australia where people of all backgrounds have equal opportunity to belong, contribute and thrive.
That’s what we were doing before the election; that’s what we’ll be doing now that it’s over – and we need you to be a part of it.
The number of overtly racist political parties on the ballot paper was easily the most I have seen in more than 25 years of voting. Thankfully, in the words of ABC election analyst Antony Green, at least one of them “has gone back to where he came from… and won’t be in Parliament.”
However, the Australian people have returned a government that has sought to pit us against each other, and divide rather than unite. In the face of fear and division (and the absence of unifying leadership) Australians have resorted to self-preservation and tribalism and ignored the needs and aspirations of vulnerable people.
I’m disappointed and I’m nervous. I’m particularly concerned for the people in our community who are most impacted by political values and approaches that continually remind them they are barely welcome here. People seeking asylum have endured great uncertainty and punitive measures. Our refugee and asylum seeking friends are resigned to another three years of soul-destroying limbo.
In this moment, our name (Welcoming Australia) seems vastly more aspirational than achievable.
But now is neither the time to despair or retreat. Now is the time to rally. Now is the time to remind ourselves that the people who will be most disadvantaged by this election result, matter. First Peoples, refugees, people seeking asylum, the frequently overlooked and unheard need a legitimate voice and opportunities to inform Australia’s future.
We remain focussed on:
- building a national network of local councils and communities committed to the work of welcome and inclusion;
- supporting new arrivals and people abandoned by government support to access emergency relief, community connection and employment pathways;
- sports inclusion initiatives for young people from refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds;
- mentoring young and emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds; and,
- encouraging ‘everyday Australians’ to celebrate the diversity and richness of our cultural heritage and welcome new neighbours.
We believe that we are stronger together and we strengthen our resolve to continue to strive for a fairer, more inclusive, more sustainable and just society for all people. Now, more than ever, we need you to stand with us.
Yours in the hope of a more welcoming and inclusive Australia,
Aleem Ali, CEO
(on behalf of the Welcoming Australia team)