Palm Sunday 2022

Palm Sunday 2022

Sunday 10 April 

Plan a local event    Take action online      Lobby your local MP      Action by faith communities    Sign the Petition and collect signatures      Listing of Palm Sunday Events     Background Information   

Be a part of the 2022 National Day of Action
Justice and Freedom for refugees

#justice4refugees    #SetThemFree    #PermanentVisas

Justice for Refugees Palm Sunday actions and events raise public awareness of the difficult situation for many refugees in Australia.

Take Action and joint the call for enlightened and humane policies to replace the cruel, harmful and shameful policies that have been in place for far too long.

Rallies and actions will be held in various cities and towns across Australia:
Scroll down the page to find marches, rallies, walks, protests and vigils in your area. 

Plan a local event

To add your event to the listing below, send the details to us using the ARAN contact form. If you would like to also have your event listed on the Amnesty website use the form here.

See below suggestions and templates to help you plan activities and raise awareness of the issues locally.

Ideas for Actions:

We suggest you link up with any other like-minded social justice groups in your area to plan a simple action. Some ideas you might want to consider are:

  • A Walk for Justice through your local town – invite school groups, church and faith groups, refugees in your community and your local councillors to join the Walk
  • Choose a prominent place in your town and do a standing display of posters and placards – take photographs and video and share on social media
  • Make a Lives in Limbo installation – it’s not too difficult, and will provide a photo opportunity for local media and be a conversation starter with those who pass by. 
  • Print postcards and encourage people to send to politicians
  • Plan a mini concert to draw attention to the issue of rights for refugees
  • Invite local churches to include a prayer for refugees, ring their bells for refugees on Palm Sunday, and to put a message on their outdoor signs – eg Welcome Refugees, Justice and Freedom for Refugees
  • Run an information session at your local library – invite a refugee to speak, and / or a refugee advocate
  • Ask your council to pass a motion in support of Refugees ( see motion recently passed by the Hobart City Council – see the news article on SBS and on Facebook  

Don’t forget to invite your local media to your event !

Afterwards, share images and videos of your Palm Sunday action with us !
We will collate photos and videos from Palm Sunday actions across the country for sharing through social media.   Make sure your activities are in the mix.  Send photos and video clips by 30 April 2022 to

Resources to support your activities:
Graphics and Templates

    • Proforma Media Release for use by groups to advise media of their local actions. Use this proforma as a starting point and make changes to include details of your local actions. Don’t forget to add your group’s name, a contact person’s name plus their mobile number. TO BE ADDED SHORTLY: Download the media release (Word format).


Take action online

Before Palm Sunday

  • Attend the online Justice for Refugees (more detailed info here)

    Fair Go for Refugees: Australia can do better
    Australia is failing refugees: what a decent approach would look like

    Join us on Wednesday 6 April,  7pm – 8.15pm AEST.  Register here.
    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining online forum.

    This online forum, hosted by the Australian Refugee Action Network, will explore our treatment of refugees and those who seek protection, and how this could be entirely different.   Register now for this important forum, and invite your friends !  Share the event through your social media networks via this Facebook link.

  • Petition to Raise the Refugee Quota by Amnesty – the link to the petition is here and there is an action to  email the Prime Minister here 
  • Take a selfie and post to social media – use hashtags: #justice4refugees  #GameOver   #SetThemFree    #PermanentVisas
  • A Decade Gone – social media action 
  • Follow Speaking Up for Refugees on Facebook  and share through your social media networks
  • Post a photo or short video clip with a message of support from your local group, organisation – or as an individual on your social media and share to the Speaking up for Refugees Facebook page.  Or you can send selfie or video clips to us at and we will post for you.   


Lobby your local MP

See below background information on the issues to raise with your local MP and state senators. Contact details are on the Australian Parliament’s website.

  • Send an email message to MPs, and also candidates in your electorate – use the Palm Sunday flag  in an email and add your own message – see points below in the Background Information section at the bottom of this page. 
  • Call their office and ask for a meeting – with an election coming soon they might be more wiling to meet with you!  

Action by Faith communities 

  • Hold special Palm Sunday services
  • Ring the bells for refugees. Download the Our Bells Will Ring poster  Add your own details, print and circulate it.  It’s important to let people know why you are ringing the bells !
  • Hang a banner outside your church or do an installation to show your community you welcome refugees – see here
  • Ask your members to take action online and attend local events – see above
  • Make a Lives in Limbo installation – it’s not too difficult, and will provide a photo opportunity for local media and be a conversation starter with those who pass by. 
  • Print postcards and encourage people to send to politicians
  • Display the Walk for Justice poster on notice-boards/newsletters of places of worship. A Melbourne poster is here plus here are some other generic poster resources that you can use,
  • Pray for refugees
    prayer by the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne – Social Responsibilities Committee

Sign the Petition and collect signatures

Please help us collect signatures for the Justice and Freedom for Refugees petition,      Download here

The petition calls for:  

  • the immediate release of ALL refugees and people seeking asylum from immigration detention – their claims for asylum can be assessed while they live in the community
  • end mandatory and indefinite detention of people seeking asylum and refugees
  • the right to work and access to Centrelink benefits for all refugees and people seeking asylum
  • fair and timely assessment of all claims for refugee status
  • all refugees to be awarded permanent visas and family reunion rights
  • safe resettlement options either in New Zealand, the USA, Canada, or here in Australia for all people who sought protection from Australia who are stranded on Nauru and in PNG.

Please return all  signed pages to  Justice & Freedom Petition, PO Box 578 Carlton South, Vic 3053   by 27 May 2022.  Please include a note with the name of your group and a contact email. in case we need to check anything with you.   If you have any queries send us a message on the ARAN contact form

Encourage others to take action


Listing of Palm Sunday Events

(Note: all events are COVID-Safe)


  • Canberra – Justice for Refugees: End the Cruelty Palm Sunday Rally
    Palm Sunday Protest

    Sunday 10 April  1.00pm – 2.30pm
    Garema Place
    Canberra Refugee Action Campaign
    Find out more on FaceBook Events.


  • Sydney – Justice for Refugees rally
    Sunday 20 March 2.00pm to 4.00pm
    Sydney Town Hall
    Organised by the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) Sydney
    Find out more on Facebook Events.

  • Griffith – Palm Sunday Activity
    Sunday 10 April 8.00am – 11.00am
    Stall at Griffith Rotary Markets with members distributing RAR Australia, CRAG and locally produced postcards and discussing refugee/asylum seeker policies with members of the public.
    Organised by Rural Australians for Refugees Griffith (NSW)

  • Wollongong – Palm Sunday Rally for Refugees
    Sunday 10 April 2.00pm
    Wollongong Town Hall – Corner Crown & Kembla Streets, Wollongong
    Find out more on Facebook Events.


  • Melbourne – Walk for Justice and Freedom for Refugees
    Sunday 10 April 2.00pm – 4.00pm
    State Library Swanston Street
    Refugee Advocacy Network Victoria
    Find out more on Facebook Events.

    Sunday 10 April 9.00am – 2.00pm
    The Project Space
    Apollo Bay Rural Australians for Refugees – ABRAR and The Project Space
    Find out more on Facebook Events.
    Download the flyer about the event.

  • Ballarat – Walk for Justice for Refugees
    Sunday 10 April 2.00pm
    Lake Wendouree  –  Lake Wendouree View Point, 
    Amnesty Ballarat Group
    Find out more on Amnesty’s page

  • Bendigo – Walk for Justice and Freedom for Refugees
    Sunday 10 April 12.00pm
    Bendigo Library Gardens, Hargreaves St, Bendigo
    Bendigo Amnesty Group
    Find out more on Facebook Events.

  • Dunkeld – Justice for Refugees Photo Opportunity
    Sunday 10 April 2.00pm
    Mitchell Gully lookout/ 3 Peaks parking area – Hamilton side of Dunkeld
    Dunkeld Refugee & Asylum Seeker Support Group RAR
    The Hamilton group HDRAR (Hamilton District Rural Australians for Refugees) are gathering for a photo opportunity to promote Justice for Refugees. They want DRASS to join in. with the ‘boundless plains to share‘ in the background of the photo. DRASS will follow up with a 3.00 pm gathering in Dunkeld after this. We will meet at the park BBQ rotunda and decide the meeting venue then. 

  • Warrnambool – Palm Sunday Peace Vigil
    Sunday 10 April 7.00pm
    Patloch Lane / Liebig St, Warrnambool
    Rural Australians for Refugees – Warrnambool
    Find out more on Facebook Events.

  • Wonthaggi  – Walk for Justice and Freedom for Refugees
    Sunday 10 April 2.00pm – 4.00pm
    Wonthaggi Mine Whistle, Murray St outside Apex Park St outside Apex Park
    South Gippsland Rural Australians for Refugees
    Find out more on Facebook Events.


  • Brisbane – Palm Sunday Rally for Peace and Refugees
    Sunday 10 April 2.00pm – 5.00pm
    King George Square Brisbane
    Refugee Action Collective Queensland RAC
    Find out more on FaceBook Events.

  • Cairns – Palm Sunday National Day of Action
    Sunday 10 April 4.00pm
    Cairns War Memorial
    Organised by Cairns for Refugees
    Find out more on FaceBook Events.

  • Toowoomba – A Gathering for Peace and Hope and Justice for Refugees
    Sunday 10 April 2.00pm
    To be finalised
    Toowoomba Amnesty Group

  • Townsville – Walk for Justice and Freedom for Refugees
    Sunday 10 April 4.00pm – 5.30 pm
    Rock Pool on the Strand 
    Townsville Amnesty Action Group in partnership with Townsville Multicultural Support Group (TMSG)  and Supporting All Nations Towards Equality (SANTE)
    Find out more on FaceBook Events.



  • Hobart “Lives in Limbo” Installation”
    Saturday 9 April 12.00pm – 2.00pm
    Parliament Lawns, Hobart
    Hosted byThe Amnesty International Tasmanian Refugee Rights Action Group (RRAG) . Find out more details on the RRAG Facebook page.


  • Adelaide – Churches Together for Peace & Justice – Walking in Unity
    Sunday 10 April 2.00pm – 4.00pm

    Nth West Triangle – Tarntanyangga (Victoria Square) loop walk.
    Community banners welcomed. As a radical, visible sign of peace-making presence, respect, solace and harmony, this Walk will be in silence, with our banners as our voice. 
    You can find more info here.


  • Darwin – Palm Sunday Welcome Refugees Rally
    Sunday 10 April 3.00pm
    Civic Park, Darwin City
    Organised by DASSAN
    Find out more on our Facebook page.

Background Information

Why it is important to call for Justice and Freedom for Refugees?
Palm Sunday is a time when communities gather to call for humane policies to replace the cruel and shameful policies of the Federal Government in its treatment of people seeking asylum and refugees.

 Australia’s treatment of refugees is harsh, punitive, and is in breach of international obligations under the UN Refugee Convention. People fleeing political oppression and wars in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and the Middle East have held for years in detention.

This is in contrast to Australia’s response to the refugee crisis at the end of the Vietnam War in the early 1970s. Just over 2000 Vietnamese arrived by boat following the fall of Saigon; none of them were detained. Australia resettled around 80,000 Vietnamese refugees in total. It shows that resettlement of much larger numbers of refugees is possible.


  • Release of ALL refugees from detention #SetThemFree     #TimeForAHome
  • Permanent visas and family reunion for all refugees #PermanentVisas
  • Fair and timely assessment of all claims for refugee status
  • The right to work and access to Centrelink benefits for all refugees and people seeking asylum
  • Ensuring that people still held on Nauru and in PNG have safe resettlement options either here in Australia or in New Zealand


Why the detention of refugees must end

The imprisonment of refugees in the Park Hotel in Melbourne has been widely reported since Novak Djokovic was detained there in January. Unlike Novak, 26 men remain in the hotel after nearly 9 years of detention. These men who were held in PNG and on Nauru for nearly over 7 years, were brought to Australia with 160 others for medical treatment in 2018 under the now repealed Medevac legislation. These men continue to be detained – for absolutely no reason.

There are around 280 people who are seeking asylum being held in immigration across Australia (Home Affairs statistics Sept 2021). Over 200 refugees and asylum seekers are being held in Nauru and PNG, many without any prospect of safe meaningful resettlement.

No other country in the world has mandatory and indefinite detention of refugees. Long term detention strips away hope and leads to serious physical and mental health problems. As former Australian of the year psychologist Patrick McGorry said “detention centres are factories for producing mental illness”.

What else need to change?

The Australian government has ignored the call for a special intake of 20,000 to provide safety for people suffering persecution and starvation in Afghanistan. Instead the government has offered only 15,000 over 4 years taken out of the existing refugee quota of just 13,750 each year.

Over 200 people are still living without the prospect of future security in PNG and Nauru.  Some of these people have applied to be resettled to go to the US, but many do not have any safe resettlement options – because until very recently the Australian Government has stubbornly refused to accept the offer made by the New Zealand government in 2013 to provide safe settlement for 150 refugees each year.     

In 2014 the Australian government banned resettlement in Australia of any refugees who come via Indonesia. Since then, over 14,000 UNHCR recognized refugees have been stuck in limbo in Indonesia. They have no rights, so cannot establish bank accounts, work legally or get health care, and often their children cannot go to school. Around half of these refugees are from Afghanistan.

Refugees need safe and secure futures – they should be granted Permanent Visas

Thousands of refugees have been living and working in our community for more than 8 years – by now they should be Australian citizens. Instead, they are still living on Temporary Protection Visas (3 years) or 5-year Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEVs) with no possibility of settling permanently in Australia. They are not allowed to apply for family reunion. They remain permanently separated from loved ones, who are often in places of danger.

Bridging Visas (BVEs) are short term visas. People on these visas need to reapply and have no certainty that they will be granted another visa. Most people on BVEs have no access to welfare, and sometimes do not have the right to work or study.

Thousands of people have lived for over 9 years in constant uncertainty – usually because the government has not completed their refugee assessments, or because of the unfair fast track system. Some people are on BVEs despite having refugee status, this includes released Medevac refugees and children and families brought from Nauru.

Instead of these cruel and costly policies, we could be welcoming refugees


If you need more information about Palm Sunday 2021 contact us using the  ARAN contact form

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