Grannies are out to stop detention

La Trobe's Judith and Virginia are pushing the agenda of refugee child welfare straight to the top. 157126 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS


HUMAN-RIGHTS grandmothers say they are fed up and they’re seeking to create change.
Although only in the fourth month since formation, the La Trobe chapter of Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children (GADRC) want great change in the political landscape.
Already with 100 members on its mailing list, and with many of those active within the group, the GADRC is making inroads into some lofty ambitions.
First on the agenda is a 2000-signature petition which members will soon present to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tony Smith, as well as members of the Lower House.
The petition asks the Government to re-consider its refugee and asylum-seeker children policies.
Member Virginia Schneiders said she had been thrilled with the enthusiasm of the group.
“I’ve been really surprised at how well it’s gone, we’ve hit the ground running and members are really passionate about this issue,” she said.
“Our prime goal is to change policy and inform the public.
“We’re finding many people are ill-informed and we hope to do something about it.
“We’ll send off this petition soon to the Lower House, with the Upper House to follow soon after.”
Ms Schneiders paid said assistance from Emerald Community House was vital in helping to establish and develop the group.
“We’ve attended the Belgrave Lantern Parade and undertaken street walks,” she said.
“We’ve received enormous support from the community, with very little opposition to our cause.”
The group is looking for more members and for more information contact either Virginia on 0417 137 736 or Judy Taylor on 0438 583 918. Those interested can also visit the group’s Facebook page.