Woodend residents rally for refugees

Rosie Baker, Geoff Hildebrandt, Don and Sheila Drummond, Margot Clark, Jenny Zimmerman and Greg Clark doing their bit to help refugees. Picture: Joe Mastroianni)

Woodend residents have opened their hearts, and kitchen cupboards, to refugees.

The Macedon Ranges chapter of Rural Australians for Refugees collected several car loads of non-perishable food and toiletries as part of Saturday’s World Refugee Day.

The group also raised money for Melbourne’s Asylum Seeker Resource Centre during a sausage sizzle. Items collected will be taken to the centre, which distributes food and other supplies to 200 families every week.

Group spokeswoman Jenny Zimmerman says many people don’t realise that asylum seekers living in Australia are often cut off from all financial support and are not allowed to work, even as volunteers, making them dependent on the kindness of others.

She says events like World Refugee Day helped increase awareness.

‘‘I know there are different views out there, but people in Woodend are generally pro-refugee,’’ she said.

The group is still taking donations of food or money through Collier Office and Business Assist in High Street.

Details: goo.gl/06ZnM0