SHOWING SUPPORT: A candlelight vigil was held for refugees in the Cotton Tree park.
SHOWING SUPPORT: A candlelight vigil was held for refugees in the Cotton Tree park. Che Chapman EPA

Vigil a show of solidarity for Syrian refugees

MORE than 200 Sunshine Coast locals showed solidarity in wet and windy conditions for Syrian refugees.

The candlelit vigil was held at Cotton Tree Park on Friday night to support protests across Australia calling for more compassionate treatment of refugees.

The Sunshine Coast event was organised by Buddies Refugee Support Group, the Sunshine Coast Campaign for Democracy and Get Up #Light the Dark.

A similar event was held in Emma Miller Place, Roma St, Brisbane at the same time.

To all the naysayers spruiking that vigils and protests won't make a difference, Buddies Refugee Support Group spokeswoman Val Ross said: "If you think small things don't matter, try sleeping with a mosquito".

Signs saying "we welcome refugees" and "we support you" were scattered among the crowd of varying ages and backgrounds.

Buderim mother Sam Willcocks and her family stood with fellow supporters who believe Australia needs to adopt more "inclusive policies" and welcome refugees into Australia.

"Being a mum, I would like to hope if I was in a situation like them that other human beings would have my back and take me and my family in," the University of the Sunshine Coast student said.

Maroochydore resident Joan Horgan said: "I have personally been upset about how we have treated refugees for a long while.

"I decided I should put my money where my mouth is by attending the vigil.

"Hopefully, the situation with Syria will prompt the government to resettle the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru too."

Buddies member Margaret Landbeck said she hoped the Syrian refugee crisis would highlight the Australian Government's "awful and inhumane approach" to refugees.

"We are suddenly dealing with the Syrian refugees but not the other people - it is a double-standard," she said.


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