Letter Writing Campaign

Julian Burnside QC is one of the country’s most outspoken advocates for a more humane refugee policy. He’s seen the despair and suffering of some of the world’s most vulnerable peoples at the hands of the Australian Government, and he is calling on Australians to write to asylum seekers held on Nauru or Manus Island to let them know that they are not forgotten, and that we care.

The Greens strongly condemn the Abbott Government's needlessly cruel treatment of asylum seekers. We call for an end to mandatory offshore detention and for a more compassionate approach to some of the world's most vulnerable people.


Instructions from Julian Burnside: 

How to do it:

  1. Write a letter, but not directed to a specific person.  Say who you are, so the recipient will not wonder whether you are acting for the government. Tell them something about yourself.  Let them know that not all Australians are hostile to them.  Be sensitive to their circumstances.  Encourage them to write back to you.
  2. Write on light paper: the letter rate for international mail increases if letter is more than 50 grams. Avoid cards, attachments etc.
  3. Send the letter to me:

Julian Burnside

205 William St

Melbourne, 3000

  1. Enclose a self-addressed envelope.  Make sure and put AUSTRALIA as part of your address. Note that Nauru uses Australian stamps. If you want to correspond with someone on Nauru, you will need to put $2.80 in stamps on the return envelope.  I am looking for ways to get PNG stamps.
  2. I will post your letter (with your self-addressed envelope) to a specific asylum seeker on Manus or Nauru.  I will explain the letter-writing programme and I will include some writing paper and your self-addressed envelope so they are able to reply.
  3. When you get a reply, just keep writing to that person.  If you want, you can ask them for the names of other people you can write to.

 People of various countries are held in Nauru and Manus Island, including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Sri Lanka.  If you prefer to write to someone of a particular nationality, let me know.

If you have a preference for which detention centre your letter should go to, let me know.