A group of influential LGBTIQA+ organisations, comedians and activists are upping the pressure on Qantas to stand by ‘the spirit of Australia’ and not participate in the government’s toxic asylum seeker policy.
The group includes Benjamin Law, Tom Ballard, Pauline Pantsdown, Maeve Marsden, Nayuka Gorrie, Jacob Thomas, 78ers The First Mardi Gras, Soda Jerk, Uniting Church LGBTIQ Network, The Institute of Many, Switchboard and LGBTIQ Legal Service – St Kilda Legal.
The campaign is already backed by high profile Australians including Judith Lucy, rock legend Mark Seymour, Professor Gillian Triggs, Janet Holmes à Court, Thomas Keneally, Margaret Pomeranz and Kate McCartney and Hip hop goddess MIA.
See below for full statement and list of signatories.
Qantas stand up for the Spirit of Australia and stop deportations to danger
Australia has a brutal and inhumane refugee and asylum seeker policy which destroys lives, including those of children. Numerous authorities have found that the system of refugee processing and detention falls foul of international law.
Qantas has long championed the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. As marginalised and oppressed groups, we are not discrete and separate. Our communities intersect and overlap. We draw on the history of our struggles to stand with migrants and refugees who around the world are facing deportations to places of danger.
It is grossly hypocritical that Qantas continues to be complicit in the execution of the Australian government’s policy, by undertaking forced deportations and domestic transfers between detention prisons.
We commend Virgin Atlantic’s (UK) leadership in 2018 to end all involuntary deportations in response to activist group Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants’ campaign.
If Qantas truly cares about ‘standing up for what is right, standing up for a fair go and standing up for those who can’t’ we urge the airline to stand in solidarity with all who are seeking safety and cease forced deportations.
In the spirit of Australia,
78ers The First Mardi Gras | https://www.78ers.org.au/
Community Action Against Homophobia | https://www.facebook.com/sydneyCAAH/
Democracy in Colour | https://democracyincolour.org/
Doc Society | https://docsociety.org/
Ethnic LGBT+ | http://ethniclgbt.com/
LGBTIQ Legal Service – St Kilda Legal | @samSKLS
Mums for Refugees | http://www.mums4refugees.org/
Refugee Advice and Casework Service | https://www.racs.org.au/
Soda Jerk | http://sodajerk.com.au/
Switchboard | http://www.switchboard.org.au/
The Institute of Many | https://theinstituteofmany.org/ | @nicheholas
The Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby | http://vglrl.org.au/
Uniting Church LGBTIQ Network
Benjamin Law | author, broadcaster & screenwriter | @mrbenjaminlaw
Brodie Turner | Sexual violence prevention educator | @brodiewrote [instagram]
Cassie Workman | comedian
Charlotte Mars | producer of Gayby Baby | http://thegaybyproject.com/
Professor Dennis Altman AM | Patron, Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives & Gay and Lesbian Foundation of Australia| @altman_dennis
Deborah Kelly | artist | @deborahkellyartist [instagram]
Fiona Kelly McGregor | writer & performance artist | www.fionamcgregor.com | @fionakmcgregor [instagram]
Geraldine Hickey | comedian | @geraldinehickey
Hannah Kent| writer | http://hannahkentauthor.com/
Jacob Thomas | Queens Young leader | @jacobthomasaust [instagram]
Maeve Marsden |writer producer & theatremaker |@maevemarsden
Molly Whelan | Melbourne Queer Film Festival Co-President
Nathan Valvo | comedian | https://www.nathvalvo.com/
Nayuka Gorrie | Kurnai/Gunai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri & Yorta Yorta writer | @NayukaGorrie
Nevo Zisin | author, educator & public speaker | @FindingNevo1
Nicole Barakat | artist | http://www.nicolebarakat.com.au/
Peter Hackney | journalist & editor
Peter Tatchell | Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation | @PeterTatchell
Rachel Evans | activist & journalist
Rajni Shah | writer, artist & academic | @rajni_shah
Dr Senthorun Raj | Lecturer in Law | @senthorun
Shahmen Suku | performance artist | @radhalabia [instagram]
Simon Hunt (Pauline Pantsdown) | satirist, artist & activist | @PPantsdown
Sophie Cunningham (AM) | writer | @sophiec
Tom Ballard | comedian, television & radio presenter |@TomCBallard
Tony Ayres | writer, director & executive producer | @tonyayres
Zoë Coombs Marr | comedian & theatre maker |@zoecoombsmarr
Media to date: Rapper MIA urges Australian airlines to refuse forced deportations | Arts stars join airline deportations push | Aussie Rock Royalty Slams Qantas’ Refugee Deal As ‘Publicly Toxic’ | Qantas, Virgin targeted over role in refugee repatriation | Qantas and Virgin pressured to refuse to take part in removal of asylum seekers | Australian airlines under pressure not to comply with deportation orders | Airlines in Australia face increasing pressure over refugees | Qantas faces shareholder rebellion over role in forced deportations | Qantas upholds role in forced deportations of refugees and more …