Palm Sunday Rally: Refugees – Permanent Visas for ALL

Canberra Garema Place, 2nd April 2023

For many years, people across Australia have rallied in support of refugees on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter. But why Palm Sunday? Isn’t this a day of Christian observance? Yes, it is. But it also has a long tradition as a day to protest for peace, and its changing focus has reflected the major threats to peace at the time. In the early 1980s, Palm Sundays were marked with national rallies for nuclear disarmament and, since 2014, it has been to call for justice for refugees.

This Palm Sunday will be no different. The need to campaign for justice for refugees has not diminished. The Labor government has not ended the cruel policies towards people seeking safety in Australia. There is much to do to achieve permanent visas for the thousands still in limbo after 10 long years, to secure freedom for those still held offshore on Nauru and PNG, and to finally end the cruelty of mandatory indefinite detention. 
Be part of this, come to the rally, 1pm, Garema Place, 2nd April. 

Palm Sunday rally – Meet Our Speakers

pocock1 1 Senator David Pocock
David Pocock is a strong supporter of refugees and continues to advocate for an end to Australia’s cruel refugee policies, most recently supporting the bill to evacuate the remaining 150 people still held offshore on Nauru and PNG, saying: 
“For more than 20 years the plight of asylum seekers and refugees trying to reach Australia has been politicised. Successive governments have been in what seems to be a race to the bottom, campaigning on fear, division and cruelty.”
Image Zahra Hashemi Barat
Fleeing persecution in Iran, Zahra and her family hoped to find safety in Australia. Instead they were imprisoned for 5 years on Nauru before being evacuated to Australia for her young daughters to receive critical medical care. Five years on, Zahra still has no certainty of her, or her childrens’ future. The government insists that this family will never be able to call Australia home. 
Read more about Zahra’s story, and those in a similar situation, in this piece by John Minns, published in City News this week.
191014-rev-katherine-rainger-cms-w900-q-radford-college-82edf Reverend Dr Katherine Rainger
Katherine Rainger, Senior Chaplain, Radford College, works with students on projects that serve the common good, including seeking compassion and fairness for refugees: 
“The Palm Sunday rally for refugees is a chance for us to come together, to hear the stories of refugees and asylum seekers, and to be inspired to continue in the action that we need to take together for justice…”

Singing at the Rally

Assange rally 1 1 David Rovics
US singer/songwriter, David Rovics, will take time from his Australian tour to sing at the Palm Sunday rally. David is passionate about human rights, social justice and fighting for the survival of our planet.


Zaki Haidari – Refugee Rights Campaigner, Amnesty International 

Lachlan Clohesy – ACT Branch, National Tertiary Education Union 

Union Members – ACT Branch, Australian Education Union 

If you can be involved in any of these activities, or simply want to find out more, please contact RAC at or just flick us a reply. Your help is critical in building the 2023 Palm Sunday rally to be as large as we can make it!