BENDIGO refugee support groups will be among the thousands of Australians who will rally this weekend in protest of Australia's off-shore detention policy.
Friday, July 19 marks six years since then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced anyone who tried to enter Australia via boat would not be settled on the Australian mainland.
There will be 15 vigils and rallies across the country as part of the #SixYearsTooLong movement, with the Rural Australians for Refugees Bendigo branch hosting their own service at Rosalind Park on Friday night.
"Although the detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru had already been opened in 2013, it was a really big statement to say you're not welcome here, you cannot be looking at Australia for your future" RAR convener Christine Cummins said.
"It feels like five minutes ago we were doing the #FourYearsTooLong rally. Even at four years we were saying that's too long. We just wonder when will it end."
There are still more than 900 people in Australia's off-shore detention facilities on Manus Island and Nauru, Ms Cummins said.
"We worry that there has been such an uncertainty and an enduring suffering for these people," Ms Cummins said. "I can't see any immediate change but what I do hope is to not be disheartened.
"We can all be decent and we can make some really good change happen. It's not going to be as rapid as I had wished for but I don't feel that we will be depleted."
The groups - which include the Grandmothers Against the Detention of Refugee Children and Amnesty International - will not only be standing vigil at the park, but also encouraging people to send written messages to those still in off-shore detention.
"People can write a message of hope to those on Manus Island and Nauru, because it does lift their spirits," grandmother Kate Olliver said.
"We also encourage people to write a message to politicians because they can change things. We just want as many people there as possible."
The vigil will run from 5pm - 6.30pm at Rosalind Park, near the corner of View Street and Pall Mall.
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