Art meets Activism 

Kaylah Joelle Baker

In an effort to support and fundraise for refugees, grassroots activist group Refugee Action Collective Victoria (RAC-Vic) successfully held an art auction on Saturday, November 12 at The Stables in North Melbourne. 

The Art meets Activism fundraiser auction was an opportunity for attendees to bid on a number of donated works from more than 30 leading and prominent artists. 

More than 100 people were also in attendance on the day, with an additional number of people submitting bids online via Zoom.

Close to $40,000 was raised on the day and has now gone towards supporting refugees and advocating for policy level change, through the work done by both RAC-Vic and Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project (BASP). 

Of the donated works, RAC-Vic spokesperson Camille McDonald expressed her gratitude for the “generous contributions from the arts community”.

“[We are] very excited by the prospect of making a difference to the lives of asylum seekers and refugees,” Ms McDonald said. 

“It is clear from the interest and attendance on Saturday that there is a great deal of support in the community for refugees.”


Both RAC-Vic and BASP invest a lot of time reaching out to refugees and asylum seekers in the community and in detention centers, and they are extremely vocal about the lack of policy changes from the state government. 


Being able to share their concerns with the public, through the auction, was considered by project coordinator and co-founder of BASP, Sister Brigid Arthur AO as an “amazing offer” to be a part of. 

“There are huge needs currently among asylum seekers with many people having no money to pay rent and utilities, so all help is gratefully received,” she said. 

Niagara, She Sells Real Estate, Kensington Neighbourhood House, Young Henrys, Art for Good Foundation, Image Group International, and Tony Winspear from Killiecrankie Wines, were also supporters of the auction. •


Photo: Founding member of Refugee Action Collective Peter Farago with Jodie Hill from She Sells Real Estate.

Other photo: Artist, wine maker, guitar maker, Kurdish refugee Farhad Bandesh.

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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