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Art and culture events, Refugee issues

Far cry from Flemington – Cup Day refugee welcome

New Matilda, 9 November: About a month ago Jacob Grech was talking with some friends about where to have the Melbourne Cup barbie this year when the idea came to them.

“A few of us had been sitting around having a few beers the night before thinking about how we needed to come up with a way to start putting the refugee issue back on the agenda amongst the broader left, and we put two and two together and thought, ‘Let’s just do it at the detention centre!’.”

About 4 kilometres from Flemington racecourse, the Maribyrnong immigration detention centre sits behind a long driveway and high steel fences off a busy main road in Melbourne’s west. When the latest figures were compiled, on 9 November, the centre held 93 of Australia’s 7887 immigration detainees, 20 of them “irregular maritime arrivals”.

On Tuesday around 200 people turned up at the detention centre for what was billed as a “welcome barbecue and festival” for refugees.



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