‘Deporting refugees is not the Spirit of Australia’, crowdfunded billboards tell Qantas

A series of mobile billboards targeting Qantas have been launched today, calling on the Australian-owned airline to stop deporting refugees.

The billboards, which have all been crowd-funded by members of global consumer group SumOfUs, take aim at the airline’s ‘Spirit of Australia’ tagline, arguing “deporting refugees is not the Spirit of Australia.”

One of the mobile ads running in Brisbane and Sydney

Launching concurrently with Qantas’ AFR 100 Women of Influence Awards, the mobile campaign aims to get Qantas to say no to deporting refugees like many other airlines.

The billboards feature the Australian-born daughters of Tamil asylum seekers Priya and Nades, who were taken from their home in Bilolea, Queensland, to an immigration detention centre in Melbourne.

The ads, which have been created by a freelance creative and commissioned by SumOfUs, are set out as mock Qantas ads and use the brand’s logo and tagline.

“Deporting refugees is not the Spirit of Australia. Qantas doesn’t have to deport refugees. Other airlines are saying no. It’s time Qantas does too,” the ads state.

A Qantas ad

Nick Haines, senior campaigner at SumOfUs, said in a statement: “Qantas executives and shareholders have the opportunity next Friday to be on the right side of history. They should take it.

“Australia’s refugee policy has been condemned by every major human rights body in the world.

“Why Qantas would want to continue to be an active enabler of that policy – particularly when it has taken such strong positions in the past on issues like LGBT rights, is baffling.”

Responding to the ads, a Qantas spokesperson said in a statement to Mumbrella: “We appreciate that this is a sensitive issue. The Government and courts are best placed to make decisions on complex immigration matters, not airlines.”


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