Section of the crowd to hear Julian Burnside speak at the Ballarat Public Library, Doveton Street.
In the background is FroG, Ian Hall of the Facebook group site,
Parliaments of Australia --- our future.
Almost 200 people turned up at the Ballarat Public Libary this afternoon to hear renowned lawyer Julian Burnside speak at length on the refugee situation in Australia. While there were significant numbers of men in the audience, the majority of the audience were women of all ages.
The event was organised by Grandmothers Against the Detention of Refugee Children Ballarat. Big ticks go to Pauline McKenzie and Cath McDonald of the #Ballarat Grandmothers for their successful organisational effort. And big ticks to the people who came. We hope more of you will be donning the purple at more of our events!
Addendum - 15-08-24: and the event has gained coverage in Ballarat's local newspaper, "The Courier".
It goes without saying that Burnside acquitted himself well. What was outstanding was the intelligence of the questions coming from the audience. Even Burnside remarked on this. The questions reflected an audience with a detailed and concerned interest in the refugee cruelty dished up by both Liberal/National and Australian Labor Parties.
Burnside's political advice - particularly in relation to the "sometime soon" election? Don't vote for the Lib/Nats or for Labor. These votes may well end up, with preferential and/or proportional voting, in the hands of the usual major parties. However, a sufficient protest drop in the primary vote of the major parties would be noticeable to them. And, Burnside said, much as it might be seen as a wasted vote, people can also vote "informal". An informal vote is one which does not meet the requirements of the electoral act. It may be blank or it may be incomplete.
And to top things off, the Grandmothers have named Burnside "Chief FroG". In Grandmothers' terms, a FroG is a Friend of Grandmothers and it is the title usual given to male supporters.
giving refugees entry to Australia on a number of conditions --
most significant of which is to allow settlement only in regional Australia.