The Service of Lament & Assembly for Pacific Seasonal Workers
WHERE: Strathfield Uniting Church, 11 Carrington Avenue, Strathfield
WHEN: UPDATED: 2:30pm for 3pm– 5pm Saturday 14 April (including refreshments provided afterward)
Please register here.
In 2018 the Sydney Alliance is committed to the work/life balance. This action tackles modern-day slavery on Australian shores.
This Service of Lament and short assembly is supported by a wide range of faith communities, unions, Pacific and community organisations.
At the assembly immediately following the service of lament, decision-makers will be asked to make commitments to act.
The service and assembly will be joined by Federal Minister Hon Craig Laundy MP, the minister responsible for the SWOP program and member for Reid, Jodi McKay MP, state MP for Strathfield and diplomatic representatives from Commonwealth High Commissions.
Your presence will demonstrate practical solidarity not only to the Pacific community but also a united front to those with the power to remedy this injustice.
Over the past six months’ media reports have revealed an alarming number of deaths among Pacific Island workers as part of the Federal Government’s Seasonal Worker Program (SWP). These reports have detailed conditions amounting to modern slavery such as extreme exploitation of workers living in social isolation, being chronically underpaid and overcharged for substandard accommodation.
Prayers and condolences will be shared for the families of workers who have died or been injured.
First and foremost, the purpose of our Service of Lament is to honour those families. These were proud, hardworking people who came to Australia to make a better life for themselves and their families.
We know from their stories and the stories we hear in our own communities that temporary migrant workers in Australia are doing it tough. It often falls to religious communities, unions and community groups to lend assistance and pick up the pieces where we can.
It is a civic duty to raise our voices for justice for those who are suffering and to do whatever we can to make sure that other families do not have to suffer this kind of pain and heartbreak.
This Service of Lament is deliberately scheduled the week before the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, where modern slavery will be discussed.
This action is a collaboration between Strathfield Uniting Church, the Australian Freedom Network, Pacific Australia Seasonal Workers Association, The Salvation Army Freedom Partnership and the Sydney Alliance.