May 7, 2014
A VOLUNTEER group providing low-cost housing for asylum seekers is calling for white goods donations and support for a fundraiser to pay for repairs.
Hobsons Bay Refugee Network and West Welcome Wagon have organised a fundraising premiere screening of Healing, an Australian film written and directed by Craig Monahan, starring Hugo Weaving and Don Hany, at Yarraville’s Sun Theatre on Thursday.
Network spokeswoman Ann Morrow said while donated and discarded furniture such as couches and chairs were easy to come by, white goods were the most highly demanded household items and in the most short supply.
She said the group had found low-rent housing for up to 50 asylum seeker families during the past two years.
She said the “no advantages” group, who had no rights to work, often had small children, so a washing machine was essential.
Washing machine dealer Paul Ohlmann, a Pascoe Vale resident, volunteered his services to recondition washing machines and fridges that were donated to the group, but Ms Morrow said there were still costs associated for parts and transport.
Mr Ohlmann said reconditioning and “repurposing” washing machines and refrigerators for asylum seekers was also a benefit to the environment because it stopped the goods going to landfill.
He said while he wasn’t wanting renumeration for labour, he had to charge for parts so as not to be out of pocket.
“Most of these asylum seekers have got nothing, but they can catch a cab if they haven’t got a car, but everyone needs a washing machine and a refrigerator,” he said.
“Only trouble is I can’t get enough of these unwanted, broken or unused machines.”
The fundraising screening starts at 6.30pm, May 8.
Tickets are $20.
Drinks at bar prices.
To donate white goods for asylum seekers, phone Ann Morrow on 0499 319 000.