Empowering Rural Communities through Leadership: Rural Australians for Refugees, 2001-2007

Ann-Mari Jordens


From 2001 to 2007, Rural Australians for Refugees, a network established by three women in a New South Wales country town, involved rural communities across Australia in supporting asylum seekers both in detention centres and following their release in rural communities. The highly devolved, collaborative and egalitarian structure of this organisation reflected a distinctively feminist style of leadership. Through exercising their rights as Australian citizens, its members helped asylum seekers transition from the status of unlawful non-citizens, through the uncertainties of life in an unfamiliar culture as temporary residents, to permanent residency and the prospect of full membership of the national community as citizens.


refugees, asylum seekers, rural communities, Rural Australians for Refugees, feminist leadership, citizenship

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