Letters to Asylum Seekers

We are often told by asylum seekers that the one thing that gave them hope while in detention was the support they received from the Australian public. 

Will you write to an asylum seeker in detention in Australia, Manus Island or Nauru?

We need to let asylum seekers know that the people of Australia are not like the Government of Australia - we care about human rights and human decency. 

How to do it?

Write a letter, but don't direct it to a specific person. 

We will post your letter (with your self-addressed envelope) to a specific asylum seeker on Manus Island or Nauru. He will explain the letter-writing campaign and include some writing paper and your self-addressed envelope so the recipient of your letter can reply. 

When you receive a reply, keep writing to that person. If you want, you can ask them for the names of other people you can write to. 

People of various countries are being detained on Nauru and Manus Island, including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Sri Lanka. Please advise if you would prefer to write to someone of a particular nationality or if you have a preference for which detention centre your letter should go.

What should I say?
  • Say who you are, so the recipient won't wonder whether you're acting for the government
  • Tell them something about yourself
  • Let them know that not all Australians are hostile to them
  • Be sensitive to their circumstances
  • Encourage them to write back to you

Send the letter to:

Edmund Rice Centre

PO Box 2219

Homebush West NSW 2140 

Remember to enclose a self-addressed envelope and include 'Australia' as part of your address. 

Before you send

If sending your letter to Nauru, please place $1.85 in Australian stamps on the reply envelope (addressed to you). Nauru uses Australian stamps. 

If sending your letter to Manus Island, please include a $5 note in the reply envelope. Stamps are expensive in Papua New Guinea, this will allow the recipient of your letter to buy stamps to write back to you.



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