Much-needed funds raised for refugee family
AN IRANIAN refugee family detained on Nauru are overwhelmingly grateful after receiving a $1800 donation from the Sunshine Coast Refugee Action Network.
The funds were raised through raffles and gold coin donations during screenings of a new documentary, Against Our Oath, at the Nambour Majestic Cinema and Noosa Cinema.
The Christian family have been detained on Nauru for six years after they were “disowned” by the Iranian community for having a gay daughter.
Sunshine Coast Refugee Action Network co-ordinator Gillian Duffy said the donation would help cover the family’s living expenses for the first 12 months and they will later be supported by the Canadian government, allowing them to “live a normal life, which is all they want”.
Ms Duffy said a 19-year-old son, who had been in detention since he was 14, would “be able to study” whereas the rest of the family would be given work opportunities.
Ms Duffy said the family had watched the fundraiser and were touched that so many Australians and Canadians cared for their wellbeing.
“It’s completely life-changing, they know people are raising money for them and they’ve finally got some hope because for six years they’ve had no hope,” Ms Duffy said.
Screened in Nambour on Wednesday, October 23 the film addresses life in detention centres and the ethical conflicts that emerge for doctors when the Australian Government overrides their clinical decisions made for refugee patients.
Award-winning filmmaker and Against Our Oath director Heather Kirkpatrick said it was good to see audiences putting “money into something that is real” like the refugee family.
“To see them (refugees) resettle in a country like Canada and be able to go to school, be able to work and be able to contribute, is very very meaningful,” Ms Kirkpatrick said.
The Iranian family needs $6646 to reach the $44,000 required for the Canadian Government who will then offer them a chance to start their lives again.
The Sunshine Coast Refugee Action Network, which currently includes Amnesty Sunshine Coast, Buddies Refugee Support Group, Noosa Welcomes Refugees and Welcome to Maleny, has a GoFundMe page where the public can sponsor the Iranian family and help them resettle in Canada. Visit https://ca.gofundme.com/f/6yearsonnauru.