contact us
A Just Australia 2002-2009 archival site. Please see our new website at
Please note that the views on this archival site do not necessarily reflect the views of the Refugee Council of Australia
Who we are
What we do
Our principles
Patrons list
Our Board
Individual supporters
Organisation supporters
Our Campaign
Our policies
Latest actions and campaigns
Issues in depth
Media releases
Latest releases
Information & resources
Myths & facts
Speeches & articles
Research & papers
Tools to take action

Who We Are

A Just Australia is a national policy lobby group campaigning for just policies and programs for refugees and asylum seekers.

Launched in July 2002, A Just Australia brings together over 11,500 individual supporters, 120 non-governmental organisations and over 70 prominent Australian Patrons.

In December 2009 our members voted to merge with the Refugee Council of Australia, with RCOA assuming management of the A Just Australia campaign and association.

The Australia we are campaigning for is: An Australia with policies toward refugees and asylum seekers that at all times reflects respect, decency and traditional Australian generosity to those in need, while advancing Australia’s international standing and national interests.

Our Role

We campaign for just and compassionate treatment of refugees, consistent with the human rights standards that Australia has developed and endorsed.

This campaign incorporates a series of public awareness activities including: lobbying in Canberra both to the Minister as well as individual politicians, public events & meetings, research and analysis on current issues both for submissions as well as a monthly newsletter keeping advocates and supporters informed of the latest developments and actions they can take to help the campaign. Our members, patrons and other refugee support organisations and individuals have contributed to the campaign by providing resources and active lobbying.

What have we achieved so far?

A Just Australia has worked together with many organisations and individuals in nationally coordinated actions. A Just Australia has also worked with politicians on all sides of the political spectrum who support the reform towards more humane refugee and asylum seeker policy. We were instrumental in pushing for changes to Government policy on removing children from immigration detention, and we called for a judicial inquiry into the treatment of asylum seekers at sea.

Recent changes in the treatment of people on temporary protection visas, moves to a case-management approach, investigation of long-term detained people and better training of immigration officers are steps along the way to a refugee policy Australians can be proud of again. The increase in the range and quality of the opposition to Government policy in the media and the community is a direct result of the campaign.

What still needs to done?

Although there are signs of improvement, there is a long way to go. Processing procedures, timeframes and the overall treatment of asylum seekers need to be significantly improved. People still remain in detention for many years, with indefinite detention still lawful. Commonsense approaches are needed to find alternatives to indefinite detention.

We believe further action needs to taken in the following areas:

  • Deterrence - The actions taken to prevent people from applying for asylum onshore in Australia.
  • Detention - The detention of, or community-based arrangements for people during the processing period.
  • Determination - The work of the Department of Immigration in determining visa status, including judicial review of determinations, and the types of visas eventually granted.
  • Deportation - The removal of asylum seekers and other people from Australia.
  • Offshore programs – Australia’s offshore refugee and humanitarian intakes as well as settlement services once people arrive.
  • A new system – Australia deserves an immigration system that works, rather than legislation that consists of patchwork, ad-hoc fixes. We will continue to advocate for a new system, that is fair, open and accountable.

How will we move this issue forward?

A Just Australia will continue to raise public awareness and drive political debate on asylum seeker issues. Key strategies are:

1. Strengthen our campaigning capability

  • Strengthen our ability to develop, implement and sustain campaigns by working with the advocacy sector to reframe the national debate on policy, particularly developing new messages for public awareness and lobbying politicians.
  • Further develop A Just Australia’s international reputation as an expert on Australian refugee and asylum seeker policy.
  • Ensure that the campaigns remain dynamic and respond to the changing nature of refugee and asylum seeker policy.

2. Improve the current treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.

Work within the current immigration system to ensure decent treatment and fair processing for all asylum seekers and refugees, including legislative and regulatory change to current Migration Act. Our areas of main concern can be found in our issues overview section.

3. Develop and advocate for a new system for refugees and asylum seekers.

Work with others in the sector and the community to develop a system that is compassionate and consistent with the human rights standards, which Australia has developed and endorsed.

Give your support

  Cannot connect to server (ref49787_ajustau@localhost): Connection using old (pre-4.1.1) authentication protocol refused (client option 'secure_auth' enabled)