Volume 9, Issue 5
We don’t need to remind you about the plights of Baby Asha, Abyan, or Reza Berati. We don’t need to remind you about midnight deportation raids, hunger strikes or guard beatings. We don’t need to remind you about retrospective laws, freezes on journalistic and legal visas and endemic self-harm.
However, we do need to remind you that you are a law student. That you are training to acquire skills that will give you a key to power and change. That you are already beginning to carry the privileged respect of a future legal professional. And that underpinning it all, you are being educated on the importance of justice and the rule of law.
Last year, a small group of law students decided that they could sit idle no longer. They decided to take a stand against the manifestly unjust legal treatment of individuals seeking asylum in Australia and recognised that they were in a unique position to do so.
Over the past twelve months, we have initiated a number of projects that have already had a significant impact. Our freedom of information team has uncovered crisis levels of self-harm in regional processing centres (news which made its way to the front page of Fairfax media outlets earlier this year). Our emerging divestment campaign – requesting that the University of Melbourne divest from companies involved in offshore detention – has prompted official consideration from Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis. Just before the start of Semester, we rallied staff and students to join the ever-growing #LetThemStay movement.
To keep the momentum going, we need you. Law Students for Refugees will be holding its AGM in Week 5 on Thursday 7 April.
If you want to guide the group over the coming year, there will be key leadership roles opening up. If you just want to lend a hand, you can hear about our working groups.
If you’ve never been to an AGM, never fear. This will not be a formal meeting. It will be a chance to meet a bunch of passionate people who, like you, might be feeling slightly lost in the face of such an incomprehensible problem, but are banding together to make a change. There might also be wine.
6.30pm Thursday 7 April 2016
Room 108, Melbourne Law School
Holly Watson-Reeves is a fourth-year JD student and President of Law Students for Refugees (LSFR)
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