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Placard - Escaped Refugees Welcome Here, May 2001 Document Reg. No: HT 918

Alternative Name(s): Sign

Placard with the slogan 'Escaped Refugees Welcome Here' was collected from a group of protesters at the Centenary of Federation Flag Raising Ceremony outside the Royal Exhibition Building on 3 September 2001. Artwork for the sign was created by Deborah Kelly. This sign demonstrates the spontaneous organised response to the hotly debated issues surrounding refugees and mandatory detention in Australia.

Deborah Kelly made the poster, inspired by commentary by University of Melbourne academic Dr Ghassan Hage at an Artspace conference in Sydney in July 2001, soon after a group of detained asylum seekers escaped from Villawood detention centre. She aimed to make the design and text as restrained and non-inflammatory as possible, so that defying the Federal Government's policy on asylum seekers could demonstrate a simple dignity. Deborah emailed the poster throughout her networks and within a few days it was appearing all over the country. After the Tampa crisis in October 2001, the poster's visibility increased dramatically with a number of organisations placing it on their websites as a file to download and use at protests.
Green placard with black text and a black border
Acquisition Information:
Collected from Dr Moya McFadzean - Museum Victoria Collections, Research & Exhibitions, 2002
Discipline: History

More information

Tagged with: refugees, political protests, asylum seekers, detention centres
Themes this item is part of: Migration Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: MIGRATION
Secondary Classification: Community Activity
Tertiary Classification: protest materials
Inscriptions: Printed: ESCAPED / REFUGEES / WELCOME / HERE
Place & Date Used: Royal Exhibition Building (REB), Carlton, Victoria, Australia, 3 Sep 2001
Artist: Ms Deborah Kelly, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2001

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