Australian authors raise funds for Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
A number of Australian authors have started the ‘Authors for Asylum’ campaign on Twitter to raise funds for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC).
The campaign was started on 31 August by author Zana Fraillon, who put signed and personalised copies of her book up for auction on Twitter, with the winning bidder to pay the donation directly to ASRC.
The campaign and its format has been adopted by a number of other authors, who are auctioning off signed copies of books and other services such as school visits, story and manuscript critiques and writing workshops. Participating authors include Emily Gale, Amie Kaufman, Kylie Scott, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Anna Spargo-Ryan, Leanne Hall and Benjamin Law.
Fraillon told Books+Publishing she initiated the campaign on Twitter because she wanted to create a ‘central space where authors could easily put up their own items without having to rely on a few people to organise and coordinate the whole thing’.
‘It is fantastic to see so many people showing their support for asylum seekers,’ said Fraillon, whose YA book The Bone Sparrow explores the friendship between a boy in a refugee camp and a young girl on the outside. The Bone Sparrow won the inaugural Readings Young Adult Book Prize.
‘I was compelled to act after Fairfax Media revealed the Turnbull government’s decision to cut income and accommodation support for hundreds of asylum seekers currently living in our community … Authors for Asylum not only helps raise funds, but gives a clear message to both the federal government and asylum seekers, that this is a policy we do not support.’