Resources for lobbying government re the up to 12,000 people let down by the Fast Track system
Current Country Information Report On Sri Lanka

Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

CRAG is gravely concerned about the number of Tamil people who have had their claims for asylum rejected, despite detailing the persecution,  violence and torture they have experienced in Sri Lanka,  because the Australian Government under Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison did not believe that they will still be at risk if they return. This belief is diametrically opposed to the information provided by international human rights organisations and credible international media sources. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade information, used by Home Affairs in refugee determinations, is outdated and no longer relevant. Therefore, our Sri Lanka task group has collated current information to develop the following documents:

CRAG Sri Lanka Country Information Report No. 12 (March 2024)

(A detailed report on the current political and human rights situation in Sri Lanka)

Briefing Note (March 2024)

(A concise overview which can be provided to politicians and media outlets as an introduction to the above report)

CRAG Parliamentary Submissions
Submission to Inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Evacuation to Safety) Bill 2023

Submission to Home Affairs Regarding Australia’s Humanitarian Program 2022-23

Download PDF Here

Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Migration Ending Indefinite and Arbitrary Immigration Detention Bill 2021

Download PDF Here

Submission to Review of Australia’s Refugee Community Sponsorship Program, October 2020

Download PDF Here

Submission to the Senate Select Committee on Temporary Migration, March 2020

Download PDF here 

Submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee Inquiry into nationhood, national identity and democracy  September 2019

Download PDF here

Australian Policy on People Seeking Safety – Where we are and how we got here - A brief history
Community Conversations Corangamite Electorate Statistics November 2018
Community Conversations Corio Electorate Statistics - May 2018
The Game of Life and Death

This giant board game was developed by the Combined Refugee Action Group (CRAG) as a community education tool. It was designed in collaboration with people in the Geelong region who are seeking asylum.

Several people who are seeking asylum, while explaining their experience of the ‘Fast Track’ refugee status determination process, spoke about feeling that they were at the mercy of a game of chance, full of twists and turns, traps and penalties, with potentially life-threatening consequences. From these conversations, the ‘game’ was formed to help people to understand the unnecessarily difficult and unfair process they must go through.  CRAG is very happy to share this resource with other refugee advocacy groups for use in their local communities.

Download Instructions and Forms for Game of Life and Death Here 

Tips for Writing to Politicians

You don’t have to be a literary genius to write to politicians. The important thing is to register your opinion as a voter, not how well you write. The politicians won’t know what you want them to do unless you tell them!

Don’t expect a response, and you won’t be disappointed if you don’t get one. The response is not important. Responses are often just form-letter, party policy positions. Your job is not to try to change the mind of the politician; your job is to provide evidence that voters are unhappy with current policy.

Use the following tips to help you with your letters:

  • Keep letters short and clear. No more than one page is needed, and one or two paragraphs are often sufficient.
  • Make reference to something personal (e.g. “I’m a student with a long life of voting ahead of me.”. “As a mother of three children…”)
  • Focus on one or two main issues (and clear points for these issues)
  • Keep it respectful!
  • Ask a question or two (There is more chance of getting a reply)
  • Paper letters can be given more importance
  • Letters to your MP should go to their electorate office
  • Letters to Ministers should go to their Parliamentary office
  • Letter to Senators can go to either electorate offices or Parliamentary offices
  • Use email for urgent issues
  • Always email each recipient individually (Sometimes BCCed emails go to spam folders)
  • If you do get a response, and your questions are not answered, then write again and ask them again!

If you are in the Geelong region, write to:

Libby Coker MP (Labor)
Federal Member for Corangamite
26/500-540 Torquay Road
Armstrong Creek VIC 3217

Richard Marles MP (Labor)
Federal Member for Corio
17A Yarra Street
Geelong, VIC, 3220

If not from Geelong, find your local MP by putting your postcode into the search box here:

Download this information as a PDF: Tips for Writing to Politicians

Also write to the following:

Hon Andrew Giles MP
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs
PO Box 6022
Parliament House

The Hon Clare O’Neil MP
Minister for Home Affairs
PO Box 6022

Hon Anthony Albanese MP
Prime Minister
PO Box 6022
Parliament House

Tips for Writing to Newspapers

Letters to the editor can help to change public opinion. They are also watched by politicians.

To maximise the chance of getting published:

  • Focus on current topics and headline news stories.
  • Stick to one aspect of the issue. Don’t try to cover too much at once.
  • Keep your letter under 200 words.
  • Short and punchy style letters are more likely to be published
  • Use positive, value-based language and messages (e.g. “People looking for a safe place to live” rather than “Asylum seekers”. “The Australian Government must act with fairness and decency.” rather than “Australia should stop committing human rights abuses.”).
  • Keep it intelligent! (Use clever language, clear logic and accurate statements)
  • Don’t say anything that could be considered defamatory. It won’t be printed.
  • Send your letter in the body of an email, not as an attachment.
  • Use ‘Letter to the Editor’ as the subject heading.
  • Send your letter in the morning. Editors will be looking to fill up the letters page for the next day, and can easily complete their task if they have letters arriving early.
  • Include your name, address and phone number. Only your name and suburb will be published.
  • Send each letter exclusively to one paper. If publications find your letter published in multiple papers, they may stop publishing you.
  • Send letters to local papers.
  • Also send letters to papers in other regions. Editors like to demonstrate a wide geographical readership.

Newspapers in our Region

Addresses for other papers can be found here:

Download PDF Version: Tips for Writing to Newspapers