Rural Australians
for RefugeeS



Queenscliff RAR is a community group active on the Bellarine Peninsula and in the Geelong region in Victoria.

We are part of the wider RAR (Rural Australians for Refugees) grass-roots movement across Australia.

RAR involves voters of all persuasions working solely for a humane and welcoming policy towards refugees and people seeking asylum.
  • We offer friendship, support and advocacy to:  asylum seekers and refugees living in the community, or in mainland or offshore immigration detention centres, as well as those  returned to their homelands.

  • We provide support to their families living in precarious circumstances overseas, awaiting family reunion.

  • We lobby MPs for key refugee policy reform in accordance with Australia’s international human rights obligations as a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention.

  • We raise community awareness about issues affecting asylum seekers and refugees.

  • We raise funds to assist asylum seekers and refugees with legal representation; support; family reunion; and medical expenses.

  • Ongoing projects include: ‘Foodbank’ supplies to asylum seekers living in Geelong area; QRAR market stalls; QRAR Legal Appeal; Azaadi Project.
  • Email newsletters & updates are our primary form of communication between members. Membership is free.

  • Meetings are on the first Monday of each month from February to December at 7.30pm. 
    The venue may change from month to month. Please contact queenscliffrar@gmail.com to check the current venue

    Join QRAR by visiting the Connect section

What Can I Do?

The simple answer is lots!

Click through the slides below to see the kinds of action you can take part in.

Every little bit counts...

Walking the Coast: Remembering that we Live in a Troubled World

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Queenscliff RAR assists refugees and people seeking asylum by providing support to the Asylum Seeker Foodbank @The Welcome Place in Geelong.

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QRAR Refugee Support Project

Queenscliff RAR has a designated fund to help people seeking asylum with welfare needs or to access legal support for their protection claims. We believe that it can truly be their lifeline.

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Give Them a Future! -Permanent Protection for Refugees

Campaign for Permanent Visas for refugees living in Australia on Temporary Protection Visas or Safe Haven Enterprise Visas

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Currently there are no events due to Covid-19 restrictions

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The Azaadi Project was born out of many shared meals, the mingling of knowledge and cultures, and the memories of traditional Afghan cooking. 
& Refugees


The Azaadi Project was initiated in 2005 by a group of friends from the Queenscliff and Geelong areas in Southern Victoria. We offer friendship and support to asylum seekers and refugees, many of whom have spent years in the soul-destroying environment of Immigration Detention. The asylum seekers we assist have fled persecution in their homelands, and have made long and dangerous journeys to seek peace and safety.

The Azaadi Project was born out of many shared meals, the mingling of knowledge and cultures, and the memories of traditional Afghan cooking. Our friends taught us their knowledge of spices and special recipes prepared by their mothers.

Cooking together from a registered kitchen, the Azaadi range of Chutneys and Kasaundis was created amidst laughter and friendship. Our young friends’ confidence had been shattered by years of detention. We hoped that by involving them in this shared project, they would develop new skills, share their culture with us, and regain their confidence and self-esteem.

Community response to the Azaadi Project has been overwhelmingly positive. Although our original group of refugee friends have now settled well into the community and no longer participate in the Azaadi Project, we RAR volunteers have maintained the project as a means of assisting many other asylum seekers, refugees and their families, some of whom are still living in danger overseas.

AZAADI is an ancient Persian word for FREEDOM

The Azaadi hot and spicy range of products includes
Tomato Kasaundi, Eggplant Kasaundi, Lemon Chilli Pickle and Sweet Date and Citrus Chutney.

The Azaadi chilli-free range includes:
Abraysham Tomato Chutney and Fragrant Pomegranate, Lemon and Date Chutney.
Azaadi contains no artificial flavours or colourings

Azaadi is available from these outlets:

Queenscliff RAR Stall at the Point Lonsdale Market,
Bowen Road, Point Lonsdale, Victoria (2nd Sunday of the month, 9am- 2pm)

Queenscliff RAR Stall at the Queenscliff Market
Lower Princess Park, Gellibrand-Symonds Sts, Queenscliff, Victoria
(Last Sunday of the month – September to May, 9am – 2pm)

Queenscliff RAR Stall at the Bellarine Farmers’ Market, Ocean Grove
Ocean Grove Park, Corner of President’s Avenue & Draper Sts. Ocean Grove, Victoria (3rd Saturday of the month, 9am- 1pm)

The Vestry Shop @ Queenscliff Uniting Church,
83-89 Hesse Street, Queenscliff. (Open 10.30 am – 4.30 pm daily)

Saltbush Fine Foods
Hobson Street, Queenscliff

East Fruit Market
11 Ormond Road, East Geelong


Art has the power to open minds, touch hearts and challenge beliefs…..

Since 2004, four members of Queenscliff Rural Australians for Refugees have combined their creative talents to produce a series of poignant installations that aim to give voice to men, women and children who have fled persecution and sought our protection
Art has the power to open minds, touch hearts and challenge beliefs…..

Since 2004, four members of Queenscliff Rural Australians for Refugees have combined their creative talents to produce a series of poignant installations that aim to give voice to men, women and children who have fled persecution and sought our protection. The installations combine paintings, fibres, graphics, photography, sculpture and text to expose, examine and challenge Australia’s response to their plight.

Over the past 15 years the Artists have directly supported many asylum seekers, both in detention and in the community. While the images and stories within the installations relate to actual people and events, names used in the installations are pseudonyms. The artists remain anonymous to further protect the privacy of their asylum seeker friends.

The installations have been viewed by thousands of people in major towns in regional Victoria. With the aid of local refugee advocacy groups, free venues were sourced, enabling the exhibitions to travel.

Current Exhibitions

There are currently no exhibitions touring

Previous Exhibitions Exhibitions

Mirrors Of Reflection: 2019  
Out Of The Darkness: 2014 - 2016
Tears From the Heart: 2010 - 2012
Beyond Tears, Forget Me Not: 2006 - 2007
Pillows Of Tears, Tears Of Shame: 2004 - 2005

Welcome Feast

A social food project initiated in Queenscliff by Nithi, a Tamil refugee, with support from Queenscliff RAR & Queenscliff Uniting Church
through food


Experience an exciting three-course feast of colourful, aromatic, spicy and sweet Sri Lankan Tamil food, prepared by local Tamil refugees Nithi, Kumar and Nithia. Share in their stories, celebrate their culture and show them that we are a supportive and welcoming community. Tamil Welcome Feasts -a social food project that is more than just a meal!



  1. Everyone has the right to seek asylum (Article 14 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
  1. While it is usually illegal to enter a country without a valid visa, it is not to be considered as illegal, if it is for the purpose of seeking asylum. (Article 31 1951 UN Refugee Convention)
  1. As a UN Refugee Convention signatory, Australia is prohibited from imposing penalties on people entering if they are coming directly* from a territory where their life or freedom is threatened.(Article 31 1951 UN Refugee Convention)*Coming directly, means that people haven’t been offered protection and allowed to settle in another country first.  (UN High Commission on Refugees guidelines on detention of Asylum Seekers) 
  1. Asylum seekers cannot stay in Indonesia. Indonesia is not a UN Refugee Convention signatory.  Refugees are not offered protection and are not allowed to settle there.  Asylum seekers can be gaoled or deported if they are discovered.
  1. People seeking protection must not be prevented from entering a UN Convention signatory country. They must not be returned to a country where their life or freedom is threatened. (The 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol, UNHCR, page 5)
  1. Over the years approximately 80% to 90% of people seeking asylum in Australia by boat have been found to be refugees. 
  1. There’s no such thing as a queue. Anyone who wants to claim asylum must leave their home country first, so they flee to other countries. This is the standard way to seek asylum.  “The concept of an orderly queue does not accord with the reality of the asylum process.” (Asylum Seekers and Refugees.  What are the facts, Parliament of Australia website)
  1. International law prohibits the use of arbitrary detention. People cannot lawfully be held without a valid charge.  Anyone who has been arrested must have their case brought to trial without delay or else be released (Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).   
  1. The UN and Amnesty International have both presented reports which condemn the conditions in detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru as being unsafe and inhumane. 
  1. Australia receives a fraction of the world’s asylum seekers each year. 


Give them a Future! Campaign
Legacy Caseload Fact Sheet
Refugees -they could be you



contact us

QRAR is available to assist you with your queries or requests for information. If we can’t help you ourselves we may be able to point you in the right direction.
Please contact us if you:

* would like to join QRAR (membership is free)
* have an enquiry
* need to make a request for assistance
* would like to give us feedback
* want to understand more about ‘what you can do‘.
* You can contact us in the following ways:


In Writing

Queenscliff RAR
C/- PO Box 52


Come to the Queenscliff RAR stall at the Point Lonsdale Community Market (second Sunday of the month, 9 a.m. – 1p.m.), or at the Queenscliff Community Market (last Sunday of the month, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)