Traralgon rally for asylum seekers

More than 100 people are expected to converge on Traralgon’s Victory Park next weekend to rally over Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers.

The ‘Free the Refugees’ rally will be run by the Latrobe Valley Asylum Seekers Support Group and feature speeches from Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce executive officer Misha Coleman and Gippsland psychologist Jeanette Gibson, who has had experience working in a detention centre.

LVASSG convenor David Langmore said the event was an opportunity for Gippslanders to peacefully express their “concern and shame about Australia’s indefinite incarceration of these people”.

He said it would highlight the plight of those in detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island, which he described as “prison-like”.

“Most, if not all, of these people have almost certainly fled from their homelands in order to escape from very difficult or dangerous situations,” Mr Langmore said.

“Their only ‘crime’ is that they wish to seek asylum in Australia.”

Mr Langmore said he anticipated people would come from across Gippsland and beyond to take part in the rally.

“People from here can always go to these events in Melbourne, but we’re a community in the Latrobe Valley and in Gippsland and it’s nice for us to be able to do things in our own territory.”

The rally will be held on Sunday from noon to 2pm at Victory Park.

Participants are invited to take a picnic. Music will be provided by a local ukulele ensemble.