The ‘I Came By Boat’ Campaign aims to “highlight and give voice to people who came by boat; to cast asylum seekers in a positive light and convey them as people with courage who try to change their dangerous circumstances.”
The campaign was set up by well-known international make up artist Blanka Dudas who immigrated to Australia as a refugee herself from former Yugoslavia. Blanka explains:
“I was a refugee from former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and am living proof of how well things can turn out if refugees are accepted and helped to integrate into society. I feel really lucky for receiving such treatment, and would like to see the return of a more positive and compassionate attitude towards asylum seekers in Australian community.”
Blanka has gathered support from photographer Lucas Allen, art director Simone Elder and producer Alexandra Allen to profile aslysum seekers like activist and law student Najeeba Wazefadost, dentist and yoga teacher Fern White and Munjed Al Muderis, a world leader in Osteo-integration surgery.
It is hoped that the posters will spark conversation and encourage people to consider the knowledge, skill and positive influence asylum seekers have contributed in the past, and continue to do so today in Australian society.
The campaign is seeking crowd funding to buy advertising space in public bus shelters and train stations. The organisers want to launch the posters in high traffic public spaces like Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station and Sydney’s Circular Quay to reach as many people as possible.
Terrific campaign. You wonder what you can do to help boat people? Support this campaign https://t.co/mE0H46BD7W
— Julian Burnside (@JulianBurnside) December 4, 2015
The campaign has partnered together with ‘I Am A Boat Person’ and has the support of well-known charity organisations and figures such as: Julian Burnside QC, Kon Karapanagiotidis CEO of Melbourne’s Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), Welcome to Australia, musician Missy Higgins, author Catherine Deveny and comedian Lawrence Mooney.