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‘Chalk your Support’ campaign launches, welcomes refugees

Below is a media alert announcing this Sunday’s launch of ‘Chalk your Support’, an initiative that aims to mobilise Australians from all walks of life to express their support for refugees and asylum seekers during Refugee Week (19-25 June 2016).

City of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore will officially launch Chalk your Support at a public event to be held at 12:00pm this coming Sunday, 19 June at the southern steps of Sydney’s Town Hall. In the even of bad weather, it will be held at the vestibule of the Town Hall (at front).

The launch will be followed by a public rally at 1:00pm, which will see thousands of people march along George Street from Town Hall as a show of public support for the closure the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, and the safe resettlement of detained refugees in Australia.


Event: ‘Chalk your Support’ campaign launch

Date: This Sunday, 19 June 2016

Time: 12:00pm

Location: Southern steps of Sydney Town Hall, 483 George St, Sydney

Film, interview & photo opportunities:

Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore

Wendy Bacon and Julie Macken, journalists and co-authors of new refugee report Women on Nauru at Risk

Campaign organiser Monique Corah

Refugee advocates and campaign supporters ready to chalk Sydney’s CBD to let major political parties know that “Refugees are welcome!”

The 2016 ‘Chalk your Support’ campaign will encourage Australians from all walks of life to express their support for refugees and asylum seekers during Refugee Week, June 19 – 25 2016.

The initiative will see people take to their city’s paths and walkways to chalk, photograph and share their messages of support, encouraging all major political parties to adopt a more humane and reasonable approach to solving the Manus Island and Nauru regional detention centre crisis.

At 12pm this Sunday, 19 June, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore will launch the ‘Chalk Your Support’ campaign on the pavement outside Town Hall in Sydney’s CBD.

There will be music and art made on the spot.

The launch will be followed at 1pm by a public rally of thousands along George St, which will call on the Australian Government to close the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres and safely bring the detained refugees to Australia.

chalk“People whose lives are threatened by terror, war and starvation should be able to seek a better life, and be looked after when they do,” said the Lord Mayor.

“Chalking your support on the footpath outside Town Hall is a fun thing to do that lets our political leaders know we want a society that values diversity and acceptance.

“We can’t stop making these public statements until our federal representatives recognise we want to welcome refugees instead of slamming the door on people who dare to seek a life free from terror, poverty, famine or persecution,” the Lord Mayor said.

Wendy Bacon, journalist and co-author of the new report Protection denied, abuse condoned: Women on Nauru at risk, said that the call for public support and government action comes at a critical time.

“The situation for refugees and asylum seekers is extremely dire, with women and children in particular routinely abused including sexually assaulted and doomed to spend the rest of their lives on a tiny island nation, often alongside perpetrators.

“It is clear the Australian Government is determined to keep the plight of refugees and asylum seekers beyond the reach of local and international media, and civil society, therefore making their stories as invisible as possible.

“This is unacceptable. Australians must come together to demand swift government action to welcome those seeking refuge and asylum with open arms,” she said.

Well-known artists, Australians who came to Australia as refugees, and asylum seekers who have recently settled in Australia will sketch their personal stories in chalk in front of Town Hall as part of the launch.

“These people and families have incredible stories to tell about adversity, fear and most importantly loss, and we are keen to highlight their stories to demonstrate why refugees and asylum seekers deserve our compassion and support,” said campaign organiser Monique Corah.

“We welcome attendance at the campaign launch on Sunday 19, June at Sydney Town Hall.”

Families, friends, kids and communities are invited to chalk their messages of support on a pavement or path, then photograph and share their images across social media using the hashtags #ChalkYourSupport and #RefugeesWelcome.

Famous Australians and community leaders will join us in showing their chalkings on Facebook at Chalk Your Support and Twitter.

Chalk your Support will take place in Sydney and Melbourne, with more cities expected to sign on in coming days. It is part of Refugee Week, an annual celebration of cultures which aims to create a better understanding between different communities, and encourages successful integration for refugees into Australian society. The theme for this year’s Refugee Week is Restoring Hope.

Join the conversation with #ChalkYourSupport and #RefugeesWelcome or visit the Chalk your Support Facebook Community page for more information.


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  1. Freethinker

    I supported many times the Refugee Week movement participating in arts exhibitions.
    I have the privilege of get to know some very nice refugee people that have helped to make this country better.

  2. Conservatives Rule

    Lets worry about our homeless here before we worry about refugees.

  3. helvityni

    Conservative Rule, why not do both?

    Instead of shouting: this is the bloody best country in the world, let’s at least try and make it so.

    In fair and caring societies there are no homeless, and why not also take our fair share of refugees/asylum seekers.

    When are those Syrians finally coming here, Canada acted promptly, why not us…

  4. Conservatives Rule

    Lets put out our own fires out here first.

  5. Gary Schlieemann

    @Consevatives Rule: Fair enough to suggest what others do with their lives I suppose, but why not support everyone doing his own thing? To each his own!

  6. Conservatives Rule

    Stop The Boats works I’m afraid. And we need to be careful about Muslim Migration from Arab countries as many of their Men are too radical.! And cannot and will not be tamed .

  7. Josh

    Apparently Farrokh Farrokh obtained his Clerical qualifications at the bottom of a Fruits Loops Packet.

  8. guest

    Conservatives Rule,

    when you say the boats have stopped you neglect to look at the other end of things and see how Oz is using detainees on Manus (illegal, according to the PNG govnt) and Nauru as human shields. Criticised by Amnesty International and the UNHCR.

    As for the homeless and other “fires”, the Conservatives are the ones which talk about “nanny states” and “leaners” and expect people to pick themselves up by their own bootstraps – a C19th Utilitarian Self-help idea that does not work. See also the “trickle-down” idea which merely puts money in the hands of the rich and guarantees nothing for the unemployed, the disabled, the sick and the disenfranchised.

    Conservatism, by its very nature, is a business-as-usual concept which hates doing anything for the first time.

  9. Möbius Ecko

    And Pat Robertson, Pastor Swanson, Pastor Vernon Meyer etc. etc. etc. are lovely little wide eyed gentleman Mark Needham? Why did you single out a Muslim cleric but not the Christian ones who advocate the same? Both are as wrong as each other, as are governments around the world, some supposedly Christian or influenced by Christian lobbies, who are now making homosexuality a punishable crime.

    1000s who died in anti-gay, anti-trans attacks (updates)

  10. Athena

    @Conservatives Rule

    “Lets worry about our homeless here before we worry about refugees.”

    That’s rich coming from someone who supports the politics that create these situations in the first place. If you’d stop supporting policies that only lead to the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, we wouldn’t have homeless people here.

  11. helvityni

    Con Rule,

    Michaelia Cash insisted on Kitchen Cabinet that you just have to work hard and be innovative and you too can be rich.

    I wanted to ask: What about if you can’t find that job, if there are no jobs…

    PS. I felt a bit deaf after an half hour of Michaelia,( hubby escaped to his office just hearing the name MC).

  12. Athena

    “Michaelia Cash insisted on Kitchen Cabinet that you just have to work hard and be innovative and you too can be rich.”

    Annabel Crabb did point out that many people work hard and don’t have all the good fortune that came Michaelia’s way. I noticed Michaelia very quickly glossed over that and moved on. That episode of Kitchen Cabinet has to be worst one I’ve seen featuring a Liberal politician. Most have shown a different, somewhat likeable side of politicians but that episode still left me with a strong dislike of Michaelia Cash.

  13. Elroy

    I said love I said pet she is so so caring Michaelia Cash. Agh ! More Nurse Rachet .

  14. Rossleigh

    Mm, I love the way that people like Conservatives Rule – if that’s his or her real name – say things like we should look after our own before we look after refugees, but when anything comes up to help the homeless, they argue that we can’t afford it and everyone should look after themselves!
    Then we hear all about how people should help themselves…
    Before too long we hear how the Liberals are helping themselves to taxpayers’ money because they’re “entitled” to certain allowances, even though the age of entitlement was declared over by Joe “I think I’ll just help myself to a taxpayer funded job” Hockey.

  15. Kyran

    There must be an election happening somewhere. ‘Free the Children NAURU’ have entered a post (about 20 hours ago);

    A film crew believed to be from A Current Affair is at this moment filming on Nauru. The crew have refused to identify themselves or say why they are there.
    Asked not to film refugees, the crew filmed anyway, endangering the lives of families back home and stripping the right to privacy of Australia’s political prisoners in asylum seeker prison island gaol on Nauru.
    The detained people are distressed.
    The film crew have police with them and they are filming refugees inside and outside the buildings without the permission of the refugees.
    It is said that they filmed inside RPC2, the single men’s detention camp, and a refugee’s business, although they were told ‘no filming’.
    An advocate reportedly called A Current Affair who said, “we have many crews out and about all over the place (you) have to wait and see”. When the advocate said they heard that the crew had filmed someone against their wishes, A Current Affair hung up on them.
    The film crew’s ID badges say ‘VIP Visitor’ but nothing about where they are from or why they are there.
    “There are some journalists here in Nauru at the moment that we believe they are working for the government and they only take pictures and reports of the new buildings, even though that refugees asked them to write and make report about their problems here in Nauru they refused to do that!”
    “Just few minutes ago one lady come to Anybary camp some people asked her why she come. She never give us any answer. Many of us want to know about her but she don’t give us answer”
    In response to a question as to whether they were filming the terrible condition of the tent accommodation, this is the reply from Nauru: “they filming the baby’s area its just a little bit better and they came when all were asleep”
    “They came 2 times morning and in protest time (to OPC3, family camp)”
    “After 3 years journalists came in Nauru to make news and reports about how refugees and asylum seekers are surviving to cover up what the Australia government did to them? They just take photos and reports from accommodations where refugees are living? Unfortunately they didn’t take photos from the hell (tents) where the Australia government made to torture vulnerable people. They took photos from new hospital. It’s clear they are here to make fake news about refugees and asylum seekers.the truth of Nauru is: The people who are mentally and physically sick and the kid’s who have nightmares and bedwetting. This is what Australia government is doing in Nauru.”
    “Why they didn’t came at 2013 ? when there were just 10 tent in the middle of desert, all of us were shocked and scared.”
    (Is this Turnbull’s answer to Shorten’s promise to open the gulags to scrutiny by reporters?)

    ACA, being such a reputable show, is unlikely to be working to a government agenda, surely? It’s not like real journalists are barred from Nauru, just ask Chris Kenny.

    Calling “on the Australian Government to close the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres and safely bring the detained refugees to Australia” is as optimistic as expecting ACA to present a balanced report. In the off chance anyone thinks there isn’t a level to which this government won’t stoop to secure their re-election, wake up! As Keating said, the bar has been set sooooo low.
    Thank you AIMN for the heads up. Take care

  16. Rossleigh

    But Kyran didn’t the government just tell us that Labor’s policy of opening the camps for journalists was liable to lead to more deaths at sea and would be a great help to people smugglers?

    Surely they couldn’t be allowing something that they criticise Labor for?


  17. Kyran

    Good call, Mr Brisbane. That would explain why ‘they’ send ACA and Chris Kenny. Nobody in their right mind would ever suggest they were journalists. Surely? It’s not like Kenny/ACA would ever report on the deaths and harm occurring on Nauru. It’s certainly not like the deaths and harm occurring on land could be morally justified by saying ‘At least they didn’t die at sea.’ Surely…..
    Take care

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