refugees – it’s personal

refugees – it’s personal

The Richmond Uniting Church congregation was very glad to host an exhibition of art work made by people detained in the Broadmeadows Detention Centre, in our Gallery 314, over the weekend as National Refugee Week starts.

So often, when there is debate about refugees and asylum seekers in political discourse, the reality that actual people – just like us – are directly impacted by political decisions appears to be forgotten or ignored.

This exhibition, organised by my colleague Rev Lisa Stewart, gave the wider community the rare opportunity to glimpse the personal reality of the asylum seeker debate: to bear witness to the stories, hopes and despairs of some of the people who are currently, or who have recently been, detained.

As part of worship on Sunday our congregation took time to engage with this exhibition and to bear witness to these peoples’ stories, as we explored Jesus’ astonishing call to move beyond our ‘us and them’ categories and to see people as they are: valued and cherished by the divine.

This kind of opportunity invites us all, including politicians, to reimagine the political debate: to take into account the personal and to seek compassionate, wise, courageous and creative policy directions that honour the need for border protection and also honour the need to respect the dignity of all.

To read more about the exhibition and to see some of the images, head to link the below:

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-20/detained-asylum-seekers-given-voice-through-art-exhibition/7525712

 

Sally

Rev Dr Sally Douglas