Neil Para (Union of Australian Refugees) shared an update on ‘I’m a refugee in Australia. I’m walking 1000km to ask the PM for a fair go‘. Join Neil in petitioning our Prime Minister here

My name is Neil. I’m walking 1000km to ask the Prime Minister for fairness for refugees who’ve lived here in Australia for more than a decade.

I’m a refugee who fled war and persecution in Sri Lanka, who has lived in Ballaarat, Victoria since 2013. I arrived in Australia over a decade ago, when many asylum seekers like me from different parts of the world were seeking safety here.

The government’s recent announcement has given permanence to 19,000 of us – but what about the rest? I’m one of the 12,000 others, whose nightmare hasn’t ended. We are happy for our friends, but we are tired of living in limbo for more than a decade.

On 1 August, I will begin a 1,000km walk from Ballarat to Mr Albanese’s electorate office in Marrickville, near Sydney. I’m calling on the government to end the uncertainty for all the waiting refugees.

6 August 2023: Day six has been a big one. I have walked 33km, across Yorta Yorta country, to finish at Wahring. This means I have walked 187km over the last 6 days, with 824km left until I reach the PM’s office in Marrickville, NSW. Can you help by writing an email to your Federal MP, urging them to ask the PM to meet with me when I deliver the petition to his Electorate Office in Marrickville? 

Every day I am joined by more refugee activists and refugees on sections of the walk, some of whom are driving hours to meet me along the route. Thank you so much for your support. If you would like to walk with me, details of my route can be found here.

I will rest in Nagambie tonight and tomorrow I will head towards Shepparton, with a rest day on Tuesday. Hopefully this will be a chance to get on top of the blisters and rest my legs. 

Local Shepparton refugees have organised a welcome event for me. Please join us at 4pm, 8th August at 17 Enterprise Drive, Shepparton, where I will speak to refugees and activists about my walk. 

Please follow my walk and progress on FacebookInstagram and Twitter – I am posting daily videos and updates.  Thank you to everyone who has signed and shared the petition so far, please keep sharing!