On April 7th, the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) will be holding a student march for refugees in protest of Australia’s ongoing policy of mandatory, offshore detention in Manus Island and Nauru. This policy is currently jeopardising the lives and wellbeing of hundreds of vulnerable men, women and children by forcibly detaining them in unsafe, unsanitary living conditions that lack adequate access to medical care.
While sick refugees and asylum seekers are sent to Port Moresby Hospital in Papua New Guinea for “treatment”, there have been countless reports of insufficient and negligent care. Delayed treatment (sometimes more than a year) markedly worsens the health conditions of already suffering refugees and asylum seekers. Many detainees have experienced extraordinary trauma that, coupled with indefinite detention, manifests as serious mental health problems. These mental illnesses only worsen with the more time spent in detention, especially as mental health services and counselling support is inadequate.
The march’s main aim is to call on the Australian government to allow Australian medical personnel to independently assess the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru. These appeals were made repeatedly by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and Colleges of General Practitioners, Physicians and Psychiatrists (RACGP, RACP and RANZP) and were rejected.
While organised by medical students, this protest is very much open to all students, health professionals and community members who cannot tolerate the current mistreatment of refugees in detention.
Join us as we show solidarity for refugees and send a strong message to the community and to the government that DETENTION HARMS HEALTH.
When: 12 pm Saturday 7th April, 2018
Where: Hyde Park, Sydney
What to bring: banners, signs, lab coat (medical students)
12:00-12:45pm Acknowledgement of Country & Speeches
12:45-1:15pm March - from Hyde Park to Martin Place, Pitt St, Park St, back to Hyde Park (TBC)
We are so so excited to present the lineup of incredible speakers coming on the day!
- Dr David Isaacs: Paediatrician & 2016 Nauru whistleblower
- Dr Peter Young: Psychiatrist, Former Director of Mental Health Services on Manus & Nauru
- Dr Barri Phatafod: President of Doctors for Refugees
- Dr Nadine Shema: Doctor & Refugee Advocate, Co-founder of Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development
- George Newhouse: Human Rights Lawyer, Ron Castran Humanitarian Recipient
Closest train station: St James Station (corner of Hyde Park)
Buses - plenty of routes to St James Station, Elizabeth St; or short walk from Park St bus stops
The march will be wheelchair accessible. We welcome people of all abilities and are aiming to seek a volunteer who signs Auslan.
Run by the Australian Medical Students' Association, Crossing Borders Australia, Medical Students' Aid Project, GHAWS, Global Hands, Global Home, Wake Up! UoN, Aspire, Wollongong University Health Over Wealth & NSW Medical Students' Council.