Fred Smith Welcome Concert - 14/02/2022

14 February 2022



Canberra is a welcoming community, and we have the privilege of having around 130 of the recently evacuated Afghan refugees joining our community. These refugees are on temporary protection visas and struggle to afford housing and basic necessities.

On Thursday night, at the Canberra Theatre Centre, the Fred Smith welcome concert is being held. Fred Smith is a diplomat, and he sings of his experiences, including in Afghanistan. This concert is his way of welcoming those refugees to our community and also thanking the ADF and the diplomats who have worked on this evacuation. The concert will be raising money in particular for educational supplies for Afghan students here in Canberra. Tickets are still available, though there are not many left so you'll need to get to it quickly. You can also support these refugees by donating vouchers to the Red Cross. I understand that the Canberra Centre has supported this community very generously by donating some vouchers. I want to thank Michael Rabey and the Rotary Club of Canberra, the Australian Red Cross and the Canberra Theatre Centre for putting on this fantastic event.

Canberrans and other Australians around the nation are working hard to welcome new arrivals following the crisis. Unfortunately, their goodwill and generosity have not been matched by the Australian government. These temporary protection visas are cruel and should be abolished. People should have a permanent means of becoming Australian residents because there is nothing temporary about the situation in Afghanistan.