We are keeping our doors open

When we launched the Save the ASRC public appeal on 9 February 2023, we were afraid that the seven weeks we had to turn things around was not going to be long enough to keep our doors open. Not because people had stopped caring, or thought our work was done – just that it’s such tough economic times.

What came next was something unforgettable. The Australian public rallied like never before to donate over $5.1m, and save us from closing our doors.

Over 22,500 people made a donation to keep our doors open. From refugees, to young people, pensioners, families – people from all walks of life across Australia – to small and large businesses, philanthropic foundations, philanthropists, and community groups.

We were able to close our appeal to Save the ASRC after only three weeks. Now, we turn our focus to ensuring our operational sustainability into the future, as our job is not done yet. As long as refugees are denied their basic rights, there is still a vital need for organisations such as the ASRC.

While the demand on our frontline services continues to increase, we still must be of a size that is sustainable in these tough economic times. We doubled in size during the pandemic to meet unprecedented needs and that is simply not sustainable. We will now begin the hard work of reviewing our size, our working models, exploring any and all efficiencies, all with the aim of resetting the ASRC to continue delivering our important work while ensuring our future existence. We can now focus our energy on this plan and we will share this with full transparency in the coming months.

We have full confidence that we will remain a fearless and independent voice, a movement of change with refugees and still a critical frontline service. All our decisions will – as always – be driven by what people seeking asylum want and need us to prioritise and we will ensure the voices of our people and community are heard.

We have been humbled beyond belief at the depth of kindness from our community. It has been the power of community and compassion in action that has been there in our time of need.

Again, on behalf of everyone at the ASRC, we thank the thousands of donors for keeping our doors open. We promise to continue to be the light on the hill of hope and a voice for justice with refugees.

For more information on how to support people seeking asylum, visit: https://asrc.org.au/ways-to-give/

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