What we do
We are community based advocacy team, working towards and assisting in making the refugee/Asylee experience recognized through advocacy projects, sociocultural programs and media work.
To help new and old Hazara asylum seekers and refugees in Queensland with the identity and mental health issues they face and help them to connect with other Diaspora members and communities in Queensland.
Our Recent Work
We started our first campaign in July 2021 with Australian census to rightly inform the Hazara diaspora community to address the census form issue properly, specifically with the 2 important questions:
I) What language do you speak at home and
II) What ethnicity are you.
We had realized people were misinformed or they misunderstood the questions in focus. The 2016 Census results were clearly off the charts and did not represent Australian Hazaras numbers right. The data showed that the number of people (Hazaras) who documented their ancestry as Hazara were just around 11k and around 15k people recorded their (spoken at home) language as “Hazaragi. They had confused ethnicity with nationality and the ‘language spoken at home’ with their formal national/literary language and in doing so they had axed their own mother tongue!
We started late into the campaign and had only 10 days left till census date. So we held our meeting with first only three and then 4 people and decided to launch our social media channel on Facebook and Insta and started contacting friends from different cities and asking them to join us in our campaign. We started with composing video clips, first our own with a message and then by engaging our community members to participate in the campaign by sending us their clips with just a simple message targeting two important questions mentioned above. We campaigned hard, involved other media groups, involved recognized personalities from within the community and we believe, achieved a great success as by the end of 10 days we had reached to almost a million people with just a brilliant team of mainly 7 people. The campaign activities/clips are loaded and available in chronological order on our social media channel; ‘AUZRA NETWORK’.
For the census day, we planned beforehand and designated three teams to assist the diaspora members in their enquiries about the Census forms to bridge the language barrier or correct any other misconceptions about the aforementioned issues. Every team was assigned an area to cover and answer call enquiries all day long. Some individuals were assigned to assist with filling the forms in person. ‘Covid measures observed’.
Had this campaign just done with, that the unfortunate change of events in Afghanistan shocked the entire world, including us. And we immediately got ourselves thrown into this new crisis unfolding. We had to do whatever we could to save as many civilians as we could through campaigning for their safe passage and along with our other peer and organizations, we joined hands to run call parties; calling the Australian federal MP offices, we drafted and sent submissions, zoom conferences and wrote letters of support for the civilians from Afghanistan. We took active part in the campaign to collect 10 thousand signatures from prestigious organizations and individuals from all walks of life. We took to streets; organized rallies or collaborated with other associations and communities to arrange for rallies. We were actively involved in providing human resource for security, media person to record the event and design, create templates, paint and print play cards for the rally, ‘Justice for Afghanistan’. Please check our social media platform for the media coverage of the rallies.
We organized a second rally on our own particularly for the women of Afghanistan ‘Stand with Women of Afghanistan’ all in our own capacity both as organizers and financiers. Did partake in meetings with MPs and important Australian statesman in Brisbane and also via online conferences. We interviewed community personalities and refugee activists for our social media outlet to put the word out.
Somewhere in the mid of this hue and cry of stressfully disastrous situation in Afghanistan, we were hit by frustration and fatigue. Some of us also had to go back to our personal and family lives and works so we took a break for sometime to recover. Some of us still did not want to stop. One of our members, who happen to be an artist, initiated an art therapy session for the community members who were going through hell due to the events in Afghanistan affecting everyone including their family/relatives and friends. We booked the Multicultural Australia’s space to run this without getting the material support, promised first but later rendered it not applicable to us just because we were not a registered entity then representing the diaspora community!
We had being doing everything that we did at our own cost without having taken a single penny of donations or help. Next reason to our discontinuation or break was finances as well. We personally covered all the expenses of the rallying materials too and run our social media channels our YouTube channel without any proper recording equipment and or office space and materials.
We still keep going, though we have been slow, we still slowly going. We need to organize and find financial solutions for our new projects, equipment and office space as well as one part time office holder to carry on day to day tasks related to our future projects and keep up to date as an association.