In only two months, Michael assembled a team of talented friends, acquired $1000 from the Awesome Foundation and got to work organising and publicising the event. “Everyone has been working pretty flat out since the first week of December,” said Michael. “It has been a real sprint.” He added, “It’s all very low budget, grass-roots and pro bono.”
For future dates and more information about National Boat Day, visit http://www.boatday.org/ and like the official National Boat Day Facebook page for updates https://www.facebook.com/ nationalboatday.
It was Roper’s vision to turn Boat Day into something that would appeal to the average, not-so-political Australian. “We think protests are really important in national dialogue, but they alienate the vast majority of Australians,” said Roper. “Once an issue is inflamed, people don’t want to be associated with it and take a conservative approach to it, which usually involves not getting involved in it at all,” he added. It was for this reason that Michael and his team took a light-hearted approach to National Boat Day… he felt that it was important to “capture people’s imagination.”
Left: Daniel Webb - Director of Law Advocacy from the Human Rights Law Centre
Right: Pamela Curr - Campaign Program Coordinator from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
“There’s something light and silly about gathering with your friends, family and a whole bunch of boats, but the message of Boat Day has serious undertones,” explained Michael. ”We know why we are there.” 35
AM-UNITY MAG EDITION 2
“It won’t look like an ordinary protest and that is very conscious,” explained Michael. “It’s about getting into regional centres, appealing to people from all walks of life, all backgrounds and all ages.”
This edition of AM-UNITY Magazine sees a focus on Refugee/Asylum Seeker Rights, Afghan Women’s Rights and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgende...