LETTER TO THE NGV
The Artists' Committee delivered the letter below, signed to date by 1571 people, to the NGV at 10am on Friday August 11.
To add your name to the letter, please fill out your details here or for more detail, follow this link.
Tony Ellwood, Director
National Gallery of Victoria
11 August 2017
Dear Mr Ellwood,
As the National Gallery of Victoria takes up a new contract with Wilson Security, Wilson Security is violently enforcing the imprisonment of refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia’s offshore immigration detention centres.
The allegations against Wilson Security since the commencement of their contracts on Manus Island and Nauru in 2012 are extensive and disturbing, and the horrific effects of indefinite mandatory detention are well documented.
The Nauru Files reveal allegations of Wilson Security employees assaulting refugees and people seeking asylum, including allegations of physical abuse and sexual assault against women and children, and attacking and choking children. Furthermore, Wilson has attempted to minimise or even cover up these abuses. Wilson employees are alleged to have misled a Senate enquiry, to have failed to report child abuse, and to have pressured other workers to downgrade incident reports from critical to major or minor, even when it was clear that incidents, such as attempted suicide, were critical.
The record demonstrates clearly enough that Wilson failed in its responsibilities to care for and ensure the safety of detainees on Manus and Nauru. But even if it weren’t clear that it had so failed, Wilson’s participation in the delivery of cruel and inhumane immigration practices makes it complicit in Australia’s breach of its international human rights obligations.
There is no doubt about it: Wilson Security profits from human misery.
The NGV is a trusted cultural institution, a public beacon and a sanctuary for artists. As a public institution that Victorians are proud of, it sets a standard for our common values, reflects our collective ethos and shapes our shared identity.
However, the NGV’s contract with Wilson Security sends a message endorsing the systematic abuse of vulnerable people.
These associations cannot be reconciled.
In light of these facts, we ask you with urgency to discontinue NGV’s partnership with Wilson Security.
As a community of artists, arts workers, patrons and members of the public, we are concerned with the ways in which our public institutions deal with urgent social responsibilities. We expect the NGV to acknowledge the voice of its audience - we are calling on your institution to act powerfully and immediately for justice, by cutting its ties with the detention industry.
We look forward to your reply with optimism.
Please send your reply to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of the Artists’ Committee and signatories.
1 See the Moss Report, the UNHCR Submission to the Inquiry into the serious allegations of abuse, self-harm and neglect of asylum-seekers, the Australian Human Rights Commission National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention and the Nauru files. Accessed Wednesday 26 July 2017.
2 https://www.theguardian.com/news/series/nauru-files; Accessed Wednesday 26 July 2017.
3http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/peter-dutton-should-consider-resigning-after-sarah-hansonyoung-hotel-room-spy-allegations-greens-20150814-giz0di.html; Accessed Wednesday 26 July 2017.
4 https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/aug/11/nauru-files-reveal-cases-of-alleged-sexual-violence-and-child-abuse-not-disclosed-to-parliament; Accessed Wednesday 26 July 2017.
5 https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/sep/01/wilson-security-to-withdraw-from-australias-offshore-detention-centres; Accessed Wednesday 26 July 2017.
6 Under Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Australia has binding obligations to ensure that no one is subject to arbitrary detention. See http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-24/australias-immigration-policies-violating-international-law/7195432
Listed in alphabetical order according to first names.
Aaron Charles Carter
'As a public organisation operating within Victoria, with the funds the support of Victorian public and FOR the Victorian public, you have an obligation to make decisions that reflect the views of that public. Victoria overwhelmingly disapproves of offshore detention and doing business with the companies that profit from managing illegal offshore detention facilities, not to mention Wilson's numerous other immoral and illegal business engagements. Please do not contract them to provide security services. Also, if you insist on contracting out the security - please make sure that all people working within NGV are on proper contracts and proper wages. You are paid enough to owe us that.'
'I am not in support of any enterprise that facilitates the abuse and detention of refugees and asylum seekers. As a member of the Victorian and greater Australian art community, the NGV's recent aligning with Wilson's Security presents a conflict of interest where my own values on human rights sit. As a result of this foreseen conflict, I will be refraining from any engagement with the NGV until which time this alliance is formally addressed.'
'I agree with the sentiment above.'
Adrian De Vries
'Human rights abusers and culture do not mix.'
'Don't support immoral companies!'
'I do not wish to see additional significant revenue go to Wilson, and nor should asylum seekers, migrants or families feel uncomfortable seeing these people at the gallery.'
'Art is for improvement of our society. By partnering with Wilson, the NGV sullies their reputation and the community's capacity to engage with the gallery's collection without also funding mandatory detention.'
Alexander Ben Cooper Smith
'CSR should extend to suppliers'
'Strongly disagree with the role they play in profiting from violating human rights as part of detention centres.'
'I feel that being affiliated with a company like Wilson Security mars the reputation of the NGV and links it to atrocious human rights violations. Please reconsider this contract.'
'I expect more from an institution that is supposed to be inspirational.'
'Because arts institutions promote themselves as leading contemporary thought their choice of contract communicates an implicit ethical judgement on the companies they they work with. Taking such a contract sends the message that the security company does nothing wrong by being involved in Australia's refugee detention regime. This is a new contract and the company's contracts are continuing in the currently closing Manus and the ongoing Nauru camps.'
Alice Julia Moldovan
'An arts organisation should know better than to engage with companies who are paid for cruel, inhumane practices.'
'Wilson have made a lot of money out of participating in the cruel detention of asylum seekers and refugees in offshore camps. They continued to renew their contracts even after having seen first hand the physical and psychological deterioration of the refugees and asylum seekers.'
'Surely there are other security companies for the NGV to contract. Arts organisations do not get a free pass on ethical conduct, and contracting this company is appalling.'
'I'm horrified by the abuse being perpetrated on innocent people by Wilson Security, the Australian government and other contractors. They are committing crimes against humanity. I want nothing to do with any organisation or company which supports those committing these crimes.
As a person who is invested in the future of decolonised and inclusive arts practice, I do not believe that our arts institutions should be affiliated or involved with the transgression of human rights.'
'Who we support financially shows the rest of the world who we support morally. I think its up to each organisation to make the decision to reinvest their money into organisations that stand up for human rights and basic human decency over profits.'
Allison Roma Guerin
'I am extremely disappointed at NGV's decision to deal with the perpetrators of violence and misery on innocent people who came to us for protection and safety.'
'The inhuman treatment of asylum seekers in offshore detention centres is conducted by this security company, the NGV shouldn't be hiring from them.'
'There should be no business in profiting from abuse.'
'I travel to Melbourne regularly to visit NGV. I could no long support you if you entered into an agreement with a company that is paid to incarcerate innocent refugees. Do not get caught up in this mess. Make a stand. Seeking asylum is not a crime but treating people the way Wilson Security has treated people is a crime.'
'You need to protect women.'
'This is an important issue.'
'No one person experiences true freedom unless all people are free.'
Amy Jo Jory
'Disgusted with the organization's affiliation with offshore detention of refugees.'
Amy May Stuart
'Breaking international laws the incarceration of asylum seekers.'
Anastasia La Fey
'Their treatment of vulnerable people is inhumane.'
'Wilson's assisting in the inhuman treatment of refugees.'
'Wilson Security have not only profited from the misery of fellow human beings in offshore detention, they were given, and they wielded, the power to inflict incredible misery on those human beings. This company has proven itself unfit to have staff in positions of power over other people and it's pretty shameful to have the NGV providing them with work.'
'Because I am a human being.'
'This organization profits from the suffering, illegal incarceration and abuse of the most vulnerable of the world's people. They should not be supported by public money or donations to the Arts.'
'Don't like nazi run triad organizations who run concentration camps and don't pay tax.'
'I would expect the NGV not to support a company that profits from detaining refugees and profiting of misery and abuse. I won't be visiting the NGV until this had changed.'
'The arts community in Melbourne exists on stolen land and would not exist in this form without a historical backstory of murder, pillage and oppression. As artists, curators and community members it is our job to recognise these acts of war for what they are, call out the system which continues to allow for these injustices, and work towards progression of social conscience. In supporting Wilson Security you are telling the world that the Melbourne and Victorian arts community is happy to benefit from genocide, as it has always done, and is willing to assist our government and its delegated private corporations in continuing to treat innocent people as subhuman inconveniences. Sound familiar?
Your influence at the centre of the arts community in this city is a privilege. If you choose the wrong side of history, the community will distance itself from you, make no mistake of that.'
'Wilson Security profit from the abuse & torture of innocent men women and children. They are participating in and profiting from human rights abuse. Cancel your contract now.'
'It is absolutely essential that the NGV withdraws its complicity with this inhumane and indefensible system. I received a notice this week advising me that it is time to renew my membership. I absolutely will not be doing this until this situation is resolved.'
'The lack of clarity and transparency surrounding government policy on Manus Island and Nauru only adds to my contempt for businesses that profit from undertaking contracts there.'
'Compassion for those in tragic circumstances.'
'This petition saids it all. Everyone deserves refuge.'
'The immoral detention and cruelty to some of the most vulnerable people we are legally responsible for must stop.'
'This company helps oppression of people.'
'I believe that a cultural institution such as the NGV needs to consider it's role in contracting Wilson Security who have shown to violate human rights in their managing of detention centres on Manus and Nauru Islands. It is important that this important institution take an ethical, moral and humanitarian stand by cancelling their contract with Wilson Security.'
'I am committed to the support of human rights and wish to live in a democracy that gives them full support and legal recognition.'
'Don't reward brutal behaviour.'
'I will not sport the NGV in their decision to have a contract with Wilson security. Their conduct on Manus and Nauru can only be described as crimes against humanity.'
'Companies which commit human rights abuses have no social licence to conduct business as usual.'
Arie Rain Glorie
'This is wrong.'
'People deserve to live a life safe and free not locked up and abused for seeking a better life shame on you NGV I wont be back until you change you security company!'
Asha Bee Abraham
'The NGV should know better than to enter a contract with Wilson Security considering their complicity in the detention and abuse of asylum seekers and refugees.'
'We need to stand up for human rights!'
It is not a crime to seek refuge
'NGV should distance itself from a firm that had participated in the inhumane treatment of asylum-seekers.
By associating with Wilson Security, NGV will be sending the wrong message to the community, its patrons and members.'
'Because I care.'
'There are other choices. Reward companies who don't torture people.'
I believe NGV is likely to listen to this sort of petition, and act on a moral rather than financial basis.
'Maintaining ethical standards.'
'Because I try to act human.'
'I am really appalled to find that the NGV-- an institution that I have loved and supported since the 1960s is associated with Wilson Security, the firm that has oversight of Australia's offshore immigration detention centre. Art and human rights abuse do not belong together.'
'I care about the humane treatment of people.'
'Support for and profiting from brutality must never be rewarded.'
Bianca Frances Hester
'The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept!'
Brecon Charles Walsh
'Wilson Security do not deserve our contract paid by the people of Victoria for this important service provision.'
'Disgusted by Australia's asylum seeker policy, and shocked that NGV would be ignorant to Wilson Security's key role in its enforcement.'
'Refugees should not be treated as criminals through imprisonment. We should not support the companies that perpetuate this harm.'
Briony Veronica Galligan
'I think that all institutions should work to end mandatory detention, this includes choosing who to do business with.'
'I am appalled at the NGV for their lack of humanity.'
'Offshore detention is appalling. Shame on you.'
Bruce F Jarvis
Caitlin Di Clemente
'As a regular visitor to NGV this will make me seriously reconsider going back.'
'Wilson Security is a terrible organisation!'
'When the NGV's water wall is flowing blood, you'll understand.'
'This company's disgraceful association with depravity in the treatment of asylum seekers.'
'Anything that perpetuates the violation of human rights abuses is wrong. Simple, choose differently. This is the antithesis of art.'
'The NGV shouldn't be supporting these disgusting human rights abuses.'
'I agree with the reasons offered in this letter. Wilson Security are complicit in a wilful breach of human rights and this cannot be reconciled with them profiting from cruelty or being entrusted with the care of a public arts institution without the NGV knowingly taking a position that supports human rights abuses.'
'Asylum Seeking is not illegal, and abuse of these people is against human rights.'
'Ethical decisions need be prioritised over budget savings.'
Carole Susan Barden
'I am appalled, embarrassed and deeply ashamed of what is being perpetrated in my name by my government.'
'The NGV shouldn't be supporting companies that contribute to heinous crimes against basic human rights (the detention industry).'
'I visit the NGV about twice a year for special exhibits (flying over from Adelaide) I find it abhorrant that part of my entry fee supports a company involved in torture and false imprisonment of asylum seekers in offshore prisons.'
'Disagree with poor treatment of refugees.'
'Public organisations, especially arts organisations, should not support companies that profit from the abuse of asylum seekers. Like a huge number of people living in Victoria, I have a parent who was an asylum seeker. Please show all asylum seekers and their families some respect.'
'I committed to campaigning to change mandatory detention in Australia.'
'Because it's entirely unethical to profit from the exploitation and abuse of others, or to associate with those that do so.'
'Because every time you spend a dollar you are voting on how you want the world to be.'
'Seeking Refuge is a Human Right'
'We need to take a stand against a company which allows/encourages its workforce to behave in such brutal ways towards defenceless people.'
'Cultural institutions such as the NGV have a responsibility to uphold and affirm basic human rights and values.'
'Contracting a firm that violates human rights and tortures vulnerable people is amoral.'
'It shames us all to be associated with the violent & abusive organisation enforcing our inhumane offshore detention system. NGV cannot be associated with this if we are to continue to give this cultural icon respect and patronage.'
'I believe in freedom from tyrants.'
'I believe that this support of Wilson Security misrepresents the value she and damages the public image of an important cultural institution like the NGV.'
'The NGV should have higher standards in the organisations that they deal with. Given that the NGV regularly shows art through the ages and how institutions perpetuate persecution in society, I'm surprised that the NGV would enter in to contracts with a company profiting from incarcerating people in contravention of the UN human rights charter.'
'I don't want to support any businesses that support the rape, abuse and torture of people.'
'There is no integrity in dealing with those who abuse the vulnerable.'
'Because of Wilson Security's blatant and wilful disregard of human rights.'
'Stand up for Humanity Tony'
'Shame on NGV to collaborate with corporations who assist torture.'
'Very disappointed. I love the NGV, frequently a member and visitor but I refuse to support Wilsons security and their shameful history in profiting from abuse in offshore cruel detention centres that destroy innocent lives. Rethink this decision please and tear up this contract. I will never use a Wilson's car park.'
'Shame on Wilson for being involved in the cruelty and torture of asylum seekers.'
'I am ABSOLUTELY appalled that you would use a firm that has had its staff called out on their horrific abuse of asylum seekers. Please distance yourself from this organisation IMMEDIATELY.'
'Basic human decency.'
Christopher Scott Miller
'The arts at their best encourage empathy, understanding and communication between people of different backgrounds. Wilson Security's activities in relation to detention of asylum seekers are the antithesis of these objectives. NGV's association with Wilson Security gives material support to the ongoing abuse and dehumanization of asylum seekers. It's the opposite of what NGV should stand for. Please undo this mistake.'
'To help contribute to the abolishment of the refugee camps and the abuse that happens within them.'
'Not impressed. Get on the right side of history, NGV.'
'The suffering inflicted and their incompetence in caring for people has lead to deaths.'
'Human rights must be upheld.'
Corina van Oostende
'Sick of maltreatment of people seeking safety.'
'Wilson Security is known for making money inhumanely. This is not ok and they should not be supported by any Australian business.'
'We (all Australians) must stop being complicit in torture and cruelty.'
'There is a better way, so we must all do everything we can to reject the current way.'
Daniel von Sturmer
Darren John Munce
'Human rights are important to me.'
'As a frequent visitor to the NGV, beginning as a teenager, then parent and now with my grandchildren, I wholeheartedly encourage the NGV to take a decisive stand against this clear connection with human cruelty. In my view it is an appropriate action which would elevate the standing of the NGV within Australia's cultural and community space.'
'Keep art out of evil.'
David Laurence Ritter
'The arts have a duty to truth and beauty. The incarceration of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus is an offence against both and NGV should not engage in commerce with the company responsible for the incarceration.'
'It is immoral to support in any way the detention camps on Manus.'
'Evil exists only when good men choose to do nothing.'
David van de Leur
'When saving money becomes more important than saving lives we need to make a stand. Be on the right side of history.'
'I will not use a company that does this dreadful thing to people.'
'NGV can and should be a symbol about the best of society and culture.'
'Australia's anti-refugee regime is a disgrace that tarnishes all associated with its mechanisms and instruments.'
'Enough is enough, companies who condone this behaviour need to be told it's not okay.'
'I don't support fascism and cruelty.'
'Please help end the disgusting human rights abuse happening in our names.'
'I don't support detention centres for refugees and the way they are treated.'
'Exceptionally poor judgement lacking ethical substance.'
'Disgraceful conduct by Wilson Security.'
'Wilson Security is implicated in the abuse and torture of refugees in the offshore camps. It should not be patronised by the Gallery.'
'Any company responsible for the abuse of children should not be engaged by NGV, a place that nurtures children so beautifully.'
'I consider that the abuses happening in offshore detention constitute some of the worst human rights abuses in Australia's history, and that they are a source of national shame.'
'I absolutely object to the NGV and all taxpayer funded bodies supporting any company that profits from the disgraceful Australian imprisonment of refugees.'
'Manus Island human rights abuses are appealing and a blight to this country.'
'Human rights and common decency.'
'The arts should not be tarnished by association with enforcers of cruelty.'
'Wilson Security are party to a disgraceful event in Australia's history.'
'I hang my head in shame every day we continue to unlawfully detain asylum seekers. Four years of incarceration in the most appalling and inhumane conditions. In a word DISGUSTING. Germans claimed they did no know of the actions of the Nazis. Our government too has gone to extreme lengths to hide the conditions on Manus Island and Nauru but assuredly some very brave people risk much to ensure that the true extent of our inhumanity and abuse of human rights become known. How dare we as a nation presume to make a stance on human rights anywhere in the world with our record needing to be broadcast to the world at large. Perhaps our government might react if we were sanctioned for our actions.'
Dr Cecily Mason
'Wilson Security has an appalling record of its treatment of people detained by it in both Manus Island and Nauru. I am very disappointed that the NGV has chosen to contract to Wilson Security. Please cancel this contract to a firm only interested in making money not in humanity.'
Dr Karen Schamberger
Dr Marnie Badham
'Apart from the obvious moral failure that working with Wilson Security represents, the NGV would do well, from a purely self-interested perspective, to bear in mind the risk of reputational damage this relationship exposes it to. Surely this was the lesson from the Biennale of Sydney and Transfield.'
'Why would NGV want to support an organisation that upholds these acts? Abusers need to be called out and held accountable.'
'NGV should not support this company.'
'The management of these islands is abhorrent. It is shocking and disappointing to see the NGV support a company that, as extension of our federal government, denies basic human rights to vulnerable children and adults.'
'I am disturbed by this company's conduct. I believe the NGV could set a powerful example of upholding ethical values in its employment of an alternative contractor.'
'Anything to help the plight of our refugees.'
Elizabeth Mary Sprague
'Want to contribute to all efforts to free refugees'
'Abuse should not be rewarded.'
Elizabeth Van Dyk
'Stop giving money to companies that profit from the inhumane treatment of vulnerable people!!!'
'There should be no profit in abuse. Entering into a contract with a company that profits from abuse, and hides culpable employees from justice, is as good as endorsing the violent abuse those employees of Wilson Security are perpetrating. The arts are a powerful tool for social change and social justice, please help to be the leaders we need on this issue.'
'Continuing with Wilson's Parking is unacceptable to me and my wider community.'
'As long as you support companies who profit from the incarceration of refugees you are also responsible for this incarceration of innocent human beings and the incredible damage that is done to them.'
'Injustice needs to be called out.'
'It's very bad form. I do not support offshore detention. I thought the NGV would have better ethical standing.'
'I think it is atrocious that a supposed cultural institution would engage organisations responsible for the perpetuation of torture and death on our most vulnerable, stateless refugees that come here seeking safety but instead get abused by the employees of a company you have hired and that are complacent in committing horriffic human right violations all in the name of profit. I will be boycotting the NGV and encouraging everyone I know to do the same, until you disassociate yourself with state sponsored terrorists and greedy thugs at Wilson Security that rape and torture women and children.'
'Do not support abuse.'
'The link with detention centres and poor treatment of refugees. It is unethical for a public institution to be in a partnership with a company implicated in the trauma and torture of innocent people.'
'I'm am extremely displeased that one of the cultural hubs of Melbourne is supporting and condoning Australia's abuse of international human rights I will share this fact with everyone i know who visits NGV Please do something about this immediately.'
'No institution should contract a company who profits and enacts human rights abuses on vulnerable people who have already endured unimaginable hardship. I am thoroughly disappointed with the NGV and I will be dissuaded from visiting (and urge others to rethink their patronage) if this contract with Wilson continues.'
'Cannot and will not allow continued injustice to exist and continue.'
'Art celebrates freedom, expression and liberation. Wilson security upholds the opposite of that in dehumanizing conditions on Nauru and Manus Island, with impunity for abuses of power. I will not visit the NGV while a portion of my entrance fee goes to supporting human rights abuses. Please reconsider - the people who visit the NGV would not agree with this move.'
'This is unconscionable. I will no longer visit the NGV if this contract continues.'
'It's very important that this wonderful public institution makes efforts to use its allocated money in ways that do not support the abuse of others, as enforced by the government. Try harder.'
'Wilson Security should not be encouraged or supported by any decent people.'
'Opposed to abuse of refugees.'
Frank De La Rambelya
'Wilson Security are profiting from their cruelty to refugees on Manus & Nauru.'
Frans Ari Prasetyo
Gabrielle de Vietri
'No business in Abuse. End offshore detention. Bring back the open community integrated immigration hostels onshore instead of the maximum security prisons where unaccompanied minors are detained with adults. Bring back decency and humanity.'
'Their previous record to refugees.'
'The gallery should not be associated with businesses that are not run ethically - I will be cancelling my NGV membership if they go ahead with this contract.'
Gavin Paul Charles
'I believe that by contracting this firm the State Government is tacitly supporting the incarceration of innocent men, women and children on illegal (by International law) off-shore detention centres.'
'No business in abuse.'
'I am concerned that in taking up a contract with Wilson Security, the NGV is complicit in the violence being acted out upon people seeking asylum.'
'I do not support Wilson Security actions as a company regarding Manus island and Nauru.'
'Wilson Security uses inhumane methods to detain refugees unfairly and indefinitely.'
Gerardo Montes de Oca Valadez
'I am offended and saddened by the way in which our government holds people on Manus and Nauru. NGV is a place of awe and beauty. The two (prison-like conditions and a gallery) should not be connected - in any way.'
'I am shocked that NGV would support a company that has committed such atrocities.'
'We cannot support those companies that are making money helping Australia in its violation of human rights.'
'An institution such as the NGV needs to have a robust reputation and this is severely tainted by your association with a company associated with the illegal and inhumane Australia Government treatment of refugees.'
'I don't think Wilson Security are in lines with the values of NGV.'
'The director of the NGV is unethical.'
Hamish Danks Brown
'If refugees are not safe then neither is our society or the arts.'
Hannah Bridgette Courtin - Wilson
'Businesses, organisations and institutions like the NGV have power to influence the broader fabric of Australian and global society through their business dealings and relationships, and must use this power for good.'
'It must be difficult being scrutinised about who you work with, however it is even more important that we speak out against companies who threaten our ideals. For an organisation that spreads culture, it would be best to stay away from Wilson Security that do not embrace acceptance. Refugees are refugees; it doesn't matter where they are from and how they got here. Not everyone can afford a plane ticket. But even if they manage to survive and arrive, what message are we sending to them and the public by collaborating with the people who want to take and lock them away from Australia?'
'Treatment of Refugees reflects on all that Wilson Security do... By contracting to them the NGV implies that they are ok with the companies treatment of Refugees.'
'I cannot condone the way people seeking asylum are treated on Manus and Nauru. Wilson Security do not have a good record and need to be part of a compassionate solution. Bring them here!'
'I am ashamed and horrified what is being done to these people who are seeking sanctuary.'
'Hate the way Australia is treating refugees.'
'It is shameful of the NGV to take out a contract with Wilson Security. Given that the Director of the NGV makes more money than the prime minister, surely the NGV can afford to employ contractors who are not ethically and morally.' abhorrent.
'NGV needs to be a supporter of human rights.'
Henri John Eberhard
Hoang Tran Nguyen
'I will not stand by and watch this abhorrent behaviour by our government in the way they are treating refugees and people seeking asylum.'
'I am a Melbournian (currently living in Canberra). The NGV has always been a part of my life; my earliest childhood memories include touching the waterwall for the first time and lying on the floor and gazing up at the stained glass of the Great Hall.
Perhaps the most affecting experience I've had within the gallery was to stand in the middle of Ai Weiwei's 'Lego' installation. You may recall that following Lego's refusal to supply the raw materials for the work to this Ai Wei Wei, the public responded by offering to send Lego to the Gallery en masse; if my memory serves me correctly, the work was constructed using a lesser form of toy brick, but the negative publicity lead to a change in Lego's policy on the non-supply of their product on political grounds.
I was literally moved to tears by this work, which not only brought the images of so many Australians that I admire into a place which has an almost spiritual resonance for me, but was an actual manifestation of the power of art to change the world for the better.
I hope one day to have many more experiences like this in the NGV. But while the Gallery maintains a commercial relationship with Wilson Security, I cannot, in good conscience, visit this institution that I love.
I urge you to cancel all contracts with Wilson Security immediately.'
Inez de Vega
'We should not be illegally holding refugees prisoner!'
Irene Gale AM
'This company is unethical in its actions.'
J.T. De Mallory
'Well it's just wrong.'
'I am concerned that refugees be treated with human rights and granted asylum in Australia and the world in line with basic international law.'
'The host or of this company in its punitive role in Australia detention centres is horrendous. Please do not support a company who has little interest in human rights.'
'It's offensive that an organisation that benefits from Human Rights Abuses should profit in any way from the community!'
'How can you sign a contract with a company that has committed crimes against humanity on Manus and Nauru.'
'I think it's a disgrace for the gallery to use Wilson Security, where are your ethics? Please cancel it immediately!'
'I am appalled that Wilson Security benefits from the NGV.'
'The NGV has always been marvellously inclusive and accessible, the staff committed and professional. To take up a contract with a company that supports, profits and executes the conditions on Manus and Nauru is shockingly in conflict with NGV's reputation.'
'To pressure Wilson to stop their profiteering from Asylum seekers imprisonment.'
'My husband's grandparents, who were Jewish refugees who came to Australia after the Nazis invaded Austria, were major donors to the NGV when it was constructed. I am appalled that the NGV would use Wilson Security, a company notorious for its involvement in the human rights abuses in Australia's offshore concentration camps!'
'NGV ethical tendering criteria should exclude selection of companies that profit from abuse.'
'Dear NGV, I have been a constant visitor for decades until I realised you had a contract with Wilsons. With all the media coverage you must know of the extreme human rights abuses that this company undertakes. Do you also know that there are many artists, some of whose work you would - and some of whom you have - exhibited in your gallery? These people and artists have been subject to many forms of torture by Wilson I ask that you disassociate yourselves from this torturous company. DO NOT INVEST IN HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE. It does not serve you well in any way.'
'Wilson Security is not an ethical company. Please do not bring NGV into disrepute.'
'I do not want MY NGV to support the Wilson Security Company in any way financially, or otherwise.
It will be seen as supporting their outrageous actions on Manus and Nauru.'
Janice Loquat Westlake
'No one should support Wilson Security after their disgusting actions. My wages will not be spent at any business doing business with them.'
'Human rights concerns.'
'No one should have to endure this, REPEAT - NO ONE'
Javed de Costa
'I have had close contact with refugees in Manus Island and Nauru abused by Wilson Security thugs. They are not a reputable company.'
'I want the NGV to end their association with Wilson because of their links to Manus island and Nauru.'
'No business in human rights abuses.'
'There must be consequences when large companies put profit before human rights. Ordinary people must speak out and support actions like this whenever they can.'
'I'd like to imagine the NGV would reject association with perpetrators of and profiteers from human rights violations'
Jennifer Ellen Mcadam
'To send this company a message we must stand firm and also the NGV is so pro freedom for all and needs to stay true to this.'
'Wilson Security colluded with the Australian government to keep secret what was happening to people in the detention centre. Some of their employees were part of the problem - abusing their duty of care and actually assaulting women and children. What was happening (and is still happening) on Nauru was shameful, and Wilson Security profited from the situation.'
'Wilson's behaviour at Australian detention camps have made them into a close representation of concentration camps.'
'Wilson Parking/Security company has had a bad reputation for being unjust bullies for years... myself & 3 friends have had our own experience with them 35 years ago & i've avoided as much as possible using them ever since. Over the years i've heard many stories, none of them complimentary & then some of the stories coming out of Manus & Christmas Island naming them as a nasty unjust & violent group it seems wrong to me that people like that should be in charge of scared vulnerable people.'
'Please do not associate the Gallery with the violence perpetrated by Wilson Security against the asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru.'
'The leaked Nauru Files show that Wilson Security was heavily complicit in committing and covering up acts of abuse and violence against asylum seekers. Even if we put aside arguments about the (il)legality or (in)humanity of indefinite offshore detention, Wilson's record on Nauru is one of abuse, rape, violence and cover-ups. They were involved in spying on an Australian Senator in Nauru and misleading the Senate. They've also been embroiled in a corruption scandal as a result of the Panama Papers. And did I mention the appalling record of abuse against some of the world's most vulnerable people? Regardless of where you stand on the government's offshore detention policy, this is not a company the NGV or any conscientious organisation should be associating itself with.'
'NGV can't espouse and celebrate progressive values in the art they present whilst making business decisions that perpetuate unethical, inhumane and cruel actions.'
Jessie L. Warren
Jill Julius Matthews
Jill Marion Parris
'I do not believe the NGV should support an organisation that benefits from crime.'
'This is completely inappropriate.'
'The NGV should not employ a company that profits from the systematic abuse of vulnerable, innocent people seeking asylum. There are alternatives.'
'It is important we take every opportunity to deter companies being involved in the human rights violations being perpetrated by the current Australian Government. A company who takes a contract on manus or Nauru obviously are not an ethical company. I expect more from the gallery.'
Joanne Claire Wilkes
Joanne Elizalde - Hernandez
'Wilson Security guards have wilfully committed human rights abuses on human beings in detention on Nauru and Manus. I will not attend any premises where Wilson Security are employed until offshore detention of refugees is ceased and there refugees are resettled in Australia.'
'I agree. Sharing.'
'I cannot tolerate the cruel and inhumane treatment of refugees, people seeking help from our country, our people - Such help should be the easiest and most obvious response.'
'Wilson are a morally questionable organisation; For NGV to seek services from such an organisation lessens their moral and social integrity.'
John Francis Fox
'Doing anything possible to bring about change to the abhorrent treatment of asylum seekers by the Australian government and all agencies and organisations involved.'
'I am appalled at this move.'
'I'm opposed to concentration camps.'
Josephine Hellen Franklyn
'It is wrong for an institution supporting the highest ideals of humanity should use the services of a company involved in reducing innocent people's lives to hell.'
'Please do not do this, NGV.'
'I am against people in power physically, mentally and sexually abusing asylum seekers.'
'No one should profit from the cruel immigration policies of this government.'
'You can change the world by choosing who you do business with.'
'I'm a proud supporter of the arts and regularly attend exhibitions hosted by the NGV. However I will not support the NGV if they continue to condone the off shore incarceration and abuse of refugees.'
'Supporting the detention industry is awful. Just stop it, it's simple.'
'Wilson security has a very bad track record with human rights and does not deserve this contract. A second point is why don't you directly employ security guards to ensure that they are not being exploited and that they are paid a decent wage and have decent working conditions. I would like my tax dollars used to improve peoples lives and not be part of destroying lives.'
'I'm sick of human rights abuses against asylum seekers.'
'The treatment of refugees by the Australian government is inhumane and contravenes international law.'
'We must not support a company that puts profits above the safety and human rights of others.'
'We need to use all the tools we have to end offshore processing and mandatory detention. 4 years of medical negligence, torture and rape by wilson security and other workers, child molestation, death by machete, self immolation, overdose. Your support for Wilson matters on this issue.'
'That a respected public institution such as the NGV would be complicit, through the exchange of money and services, in the abuse and torture of refugees who have a legal right to seek asylum in Australia, is horrendous. In contrast, the NGV should be leading the way to a humane Australia. The arts must be used as a tool to challenge the status quo, to work toward a better world.'
'Links to detention centres'
'I do not think our cultural institutions should support or endorse companies that have such a low moral and ethical work standards.'
'I have signed this petition because I hope that the art community can take ethical leadership in difficult territory. Perhaps the hypocrisy of sponsorship and patronage in the arts is inevitable but where possible we should make decisions that reflect support for those suffering under our national policy.'
'We all have a moral and ethical obligation to do what we can to stop this continued abuse of vulnerable people whose human rights are being violated by our country.'
'Close offshore concentration camps.'
'Wilson has a bad reputation for poor practices in the supposed care of vulnerable people.'
'Immigration detention centres are disgusting and anyone involved should be boycotted.'
'The NGV should be setting higher standards in the community than this.'
'I want to still be able to come to the gallery, but I don't go anywhere that uses Wilson Security.'
'No business in abuse.'
'I support the arts but I do not support criminals.'
'Compassion, principles, human decency.'
'Wilson Security and any other company engaging in the cruelty involved in offshore detention is a completely inappropriate choice for an organisation like NGV to work with. NGV should be upholding much better standards of decency and humanity. It is an appalling reflection on NGV that working with such a company would even be considered. If you want to have any credibility as an organisation for the public good, DITCH THE DEAL NOW NGV!!!'
'We need to show companies that profit from abuse that there are consequences for their continued disregard for human welfare. Institutions such as the NGV should be leaders within our community and take a stand by cutting ties with Wilson Security. For if they do not, NGV are guilty by association.'
'Wilson seems to lack responsibility and accountability in its supervision of asylum seekers. I cannot support such a company looking after security at an Australian mainland facility.'
'The detention centres in Nauru and Manus Island are a gross violation of human rights, and are unlawful. By removing your support for Wilson Security, you are condemning an inhumane and outdated system of oppression. This is not about politics; it is about protecting the lives of the most vulnerable people.'
'I have hundreds of refugee friends and I object to my entrance fees being paid to a company that tortures my friends and their friends, relatives and compatriots.'
Kim Veronica Burrell
'It is impossible to support an organisation that participates in this appalling treatment of human being who are simply and rightly seeking safety. Australia's stance on this policy cannot be tolerated. I am ashamed to be an Australian and will not travel for the embarrassment of proffering my Australian passport in another country. Not in my name. Until this practice ceases and the NGV suspends this contract, I will not be visiting the NGV.'
'NGV’s contract with Wilson Security sends a message endorsing the systematic abuse of vulnerable people.'
'Wilson's treatment of refugees.'
'Please don't reward companies for torture.'
'I DO NOT SUPPORT THEM.'
'Turn to your moral compass and cancel this contract, PLEASE.'
'It is time to end the illegal detention of asylum seekers.'
Kylie' Gay Cook
'I cannot believe you'd go with Wilson. I didn't realise. I went to Van Gogh- now I am ashamed. I was going to go to Hokusai - now I won't, I am also sharing this with my friends. The rights of asylum seekers are more important than my love and desire to see fabulous art. Please reconsider.'
'Visited Nauru for professional reasons. Angered by offshore detention. Saw first hand the militaristic way the 'centre' is run through contractors such as Wilson.'
'The arts sector needs to be leaders in the quest for human rights.'
'I am deeply disturbed by Wilson Security's track record on Nauru.'
'Wilson Security has received payment from the Australian Federal Government as payment for torturing innocent people. Do not do business with them.'
'It's so wrong.'
Laura Bronte Graham
Laura La Rosa
'Out of principle (human rights).'
'The choices we make are powerful and matter. NGV has always represented a force of good. Please reconsider.'
'The situation in offshore immigration prisons is devastating. Wilsons should not be profiting from keeping people in detention. The details of wilsons conduct are abhorrent. Please cancel the contract.'
'I believe every human being has the right for freedom, especially those who have already been tormented enough in war stricken countries. These unfortunate people risked their lives in order to live a better life in Australia, just to be detained again and treated so inhumanely. As a regular visitor to the NGV and an art lover I strongly urge NGV to cancel the contract with Wilson Security, because in this day and age we do not support such deprival of human rights and dignity!'
'One does what one can.'
'I've seen first hand the way Wilson security treats asylum seekers and refugees.'
'Make sure the NGV listen to the publics response.'
Leonie Van Eyk
'I disagree wholeheartedly with the treatment of refugees on Manus Island. If the same security company that we have on Manus are also in wonderful establishments like the NGV then i am gravely disappointed in the NGV for not choosing differently.'
Lesley Helen Walker
'Wilson is a global profiteer who for years has paid dividends from rough management, rough treatment - degradation - of men, women, children, babies, teenagers, aged people, all asylum seekers in detention centres currently in Nauru & previously Manus Island PNG. I have visited many detention centres & seen the power that security management staff have over the people, & seen it mismanaged, over-used by instituting petty actions pitting people against each other to cause trouble, to give reason to 'crack down' & use more power, to destroy people's wellbeing. Please do not contribute to the profits of Wilson. Moreover do not patronise their carparks - this simple action of boycotting their business is another way to show that good people will react to bad practices - to harm their reputation & "bottom line".'
'NGV needs to be an ethical public institution.'
'By doing business with Wilson Security, the NGV supports the systematic abuse of refugees and people seeking asylum.'
Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson
'All what is mentioned in the letter to Tony Ellwood gets our full support. Wilson Security profits from human misery and the NGV’s contract with Wilson Security does send a message endorsing the systematic abuse of vulnerable people. These associations cannot be reconciled. In light of these facts, we join the Artists’ Committee and all other signatories asking you with urgency to cancel NGV’s contract with Wilson Security. As artists, humans and part of the audiences alike, we can´t be but against any contracts or associations between art institutions and other public representative institutions with patrons or companies that profit from human misery as it clearly shows in this case. We wish and urge the NGV to act immediately, bravely, ethically and for justice cutting its ties with the detention industry.'
'I am appalled at this action by the NGV. Has no one read the plethora of reports over the abusive management by Wilson of off shore detention centres and the collusion with the Department of Immigration in the systematic infliction of cruelty and abuse on women and children by Wilson security thugs. Read the reports. I am ashamed that the gallery in my home town is choosing this path. Disgusted.'
'Wilson is not an ethical company. Find a small, Australian business that can do the job without human rights violations in the background.'
'What this country is doing to those people is unconscionable, indefensible and downright evil. Don't be a part of making it happen.'
'I expect the arts to be a leader in the development of a civilised society. Siding with thugs is the exact opposite. How thoroughly bogan of you.'
'As a member of the NGV it is my concern that the institute is a reflection of it's patrons values and beliefs. There are other options for security firms, find the right one which isn't involved in such anti-humane business.'
'By employing this company you are indirectly supporting the unjust and inhumane incarceration of some of our most vulnerable human beings.'
'For the human rights of all people.'
'What has happened on Manus is utterly unacceptable and Wilson needs to be called to account.'
'Don't want to add to the coffers of human rights abusers.'
'To protest the NGV's continued engagement with Wilson Security, which in effect continues its continued engagement in the abhorrent systemic abuse of asylum seekers and refugees who should rightfully be brought to Australia.'
'Because I care for our refugees.'
'Wilson Security is guilty of crimes against humanity.'
'I do not believe that the NGV would want to support a company (Wilson) that has played a part in the systematic abuse of refugees and people seeking asylum.'
'I am utterly disgusted. Where is the due diligence that NGV, a public institution, needs to be doing on who they are contracting to. The torture, the sexual assaults of adults and children, the violence and abuse being perpetrated on on Manus, Nauru, Christmas Island and in onshore detention centres on the scale that it is happening all under the Wilson Security groups watch has to be stopped. NGV is now saying it supports all of that by awarding Wilson security the contract. It just is an absolute abrogation of NGV values and its responsibility to all its patrons and visitors. Dump them now.'
'NGV’s contract with Wilson Security sends a message endorsing the systematic abuse of vulnerable people.'
'My parents were children in Detention, in Indonesia, and had to starve for 4 years, I am still dealing with that today 70 years on through their health issues. The detention of people has a lasting effect on communities of which future generations will be burdened by the damage. The NGV as a place that presents culture shouldn't be a place that invests in destroying lives.'
'I know you do not have a social conscience, nor do you share common human values or the capacity for empathy. I know that you will not be moved by this petition, but I signed it because I wanted you to know that people can see you.'
'It's frightful to think that such an important cultural institution as the NGV would help legitimise a group that is profiteering off misery and human rights abuses. History will judge us harshly for what we did/didn't do. Lift your game NGV -- you can't say you didn't know!'
'I do not support Wilson security role in maintaining asylum seekers and refugees in detention centres. Sadly NGV is not acting ethically by contracting with Wilson Security.'
Lynette Ann Whale
'Outrage. Anger. Not in my name. Ban these bastards.'
'My opposition to the refugees detention centres.'
'Offshore detention policy is disgusting, our treatment of these people is appalling, not in my name.'
'Bad things happen when good people do nothing. Apathy is consent.'
'Shocking misjudgement NGV. We will all lose.'
'Supporting the rights of asylum seekers.'
Manon van Kouswijk
'Critical of Wilson's unethical position re off shore refugees.'
'Wilson Security has profited from the monstrosity of the Manus Island detention centre. This is the antithesis of everything that art represents, and our public institution of art should not be associated with such a terrible company.'
'I believe that institutions such as the NGV should contribute to community wellbeing by only supporting organisations committed to respecting life and the environment. In employing Wilson Security the NGV is showing disregard for the politically opportunistic and cruel policy of mandatory detention of refugees, and for Wilson Security's particular history of violence and abuse, and thus deserves to be boycotted by all civilised people.'
'I cannot see how a commercial association between the NGV and a company who has committed and supported and profited from human rights abuses is a reflection of community standards. Ditch Wilson and any other company associated with immigration detention.'
'To stop off shore detention of refugees - we are all boat people.'
'Do not believe NGV or anyone should employ or contract or support in any way an organisation which is a party to crimes against humanity such as Wilson Security has been on Nauru and Manus is.'
Mariella Delconte Green
Marina Reyes Franco
'I want to lend international support for this initiative. Wilson is profiting from the pain and suffering of asylum seekers, and should have no place in the art world.'
'I think support from and dealings with a company that are complicit in human rights abuses makes the NGV complicit also.'
'I believe we have a responsibility to heed the call for freedom for refugees on Manus and Nauru island. Wilson Security have been complicit in the atrocious treatment of asylum seekers and should not be supported by being granted further security contracts.'
'I'm appalled that the NGV would engage Wilson Security knowing their role on manus island and nauru, effectively supporting the violent actions of the company and enforcement of mandatory detention.'
'Really surprised by this failure to apply ethical standards when considering contracts, please NGV: Fess up to the error and cancel the contract.'
Mary Jo Kelly
Mary Josephine De Boer
'Wilson Security has been instrumental in the systematic abuse of those who have been put under their care in the offshore detention centres. It is unconscionable that an organisation like the NGV supports such a business. Please cancel your contract with them.'
'There are Human Rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by Wilson staff that have not been addressed and your support only sends a message of acceptance of these abuses. Tony, there are other security services you could use.'
'I'm disgusted and deeply disappointed that the NGV supports human torture.'
Matthew Paul Ellis
'Wilson Security has upheld the abuse of people under their care.'
'Inhumane treatment of refugees asking for our help.'
'Refugees deserve refuge. We are all human not assets or disposable.'
Melanie Cecilia Stapleton
Melanie Jayne Taylor
'Because it is wrong to profit from concentration camps for refugees.'
'Australia's treatment of refugees does not provide them their basic human rights, we all have the right to seek a place to live that is free of persecution.'
'Wilson Security profits from human misery. Wilson’s participation in the delivery of cruel and inhumane immigration practices makes it complicit in Australia’s breach of its international human rights obligations. NGV’s contract with Wilson Security sends a message endorsing the systematic abuse of vulnerable people.'
Melissa Jane Cox
'These people should not be given employment with the NGV because by doing so it supports the incarceration of people on Manus Island and Nauru, and therefor the systematic abuse of people seeking asylum.'
'I do not support this assimilation of contradictory ethics.'
'As an artist, as well as a lawyer working with people seeking asylum, and indeed as a human being, I am deeply concerned about the way our government treats people seeking asylum, both those who are in Australia waiting for their claims to be heard and those who remain in offshore processing centres.'
'Our governments continued abuses of Human Rights both here, on Manus and Nauru, West Papua, etc MUST BE STOPPED. We need to mobilise community to help us put a stop to this corporate corruption and money making at the cost of human life and welfare.'
'NGV should not give contracts to an organisation that contributes to human rights violations.'
'We are judged by the company we choose to keep.'
Michael John Harvey
'Wilson are complicit in crimes against international law.'
'For refugee rights.'
'Any cultural centres being sponsored by torture camps is bad for the future.'
'I like the NGV a lot. It is exactly the wrong kind of institution to be lending legitimacy to a company facilitating abuse. Please stop!'
'Because what is happening in Nauru is a national disgrace and I do not support the actions or treatment by the security company. Additional detention centres are wrong and there needs to be a more fair and just system for these fleeing individuals.'
Michaela Jeannaisse Carter
'How could this possibly be defended, even considered, by the NGV?'
Michelle Dunne Breen
'Abusive regimes in our offshore detention camps.'
'The whole refugee system as it stands is not fit for purpose and there are serious allegations against Wilson Security in regard to this.'
'I find it appalling that a gallery exhibiting art can be associated with repression and torture.'
'I am appalled at the behaviour of this company in Manus and Nauru and although I live in Rome/Italy I am a frequent visitor to Australia and the NGV.'
'So shocked and keep hoping that this is not the case. Please do not do business with Wilson Security. Do not support a company involved in barbarism.'
'If the NGV employ Wilson Security it makes them, and me as a member, complicit it the terrible injustice of indefinite detention.'
'We must divest from the inhumane treatment of refugees.'
'A moral obligation.'
'NGV has stronger values than this, does it not?'
'NGV is supposed to care about human rights.'
'Do not do business with companies who profit from disregarding people's human rights.'
'I worked on Nauru and am aware of the abuses perpetrated by Wilson Security towards vulnerable people.'
'People seeking asylum have been treated bad enough let alone be subject to abuse by those they should be able to trust to protect them.'
'I believe in humanitarianism.'
'The NGV should not be supporting private entities who profit from the suppression of other people's human rights.'
'Using this company with a dubious history is deeply unsettling.'
'There are always options. I expect better from the NGV and will not renew my membership if the contract continues - I have options too.'
'I do not support violence, inhumane incarceration and those organisations who do.'
'Australia's brutal treatment of refugees must end. A new contract with Wilson shows complicity in the horrific treatment of innocent people.'
'Is it really worth the risk? Supporting the torture of innocent and vulnerable disadvantaged traumatised men women and children. Please cancel the contact.'
'Wilson's treatment of innocent people seeking asylum is inhuman and reprehensible. I am a regular visitor to the NGV with my grandson and I do not support this partnership. The NGV can choose an ethical alternative.'
'I'm a supporter of refugees and asylum seekers.'
Nimue di Gherdeina
'Wilson's have a terrible record for human rights abuses, not just in the camps, but also here on Australian soil, in their everyday security role.'
'NGV cancel the contract with Wilson security for their involvement at Manus Island and Nauru.'
'As an artist and regular visitor of the NGV I do not want to support an organisation that chooses to do business with a company that profits from the abuse of innocent people seeking asylum.'
'This company is actively engaged in human rights abuses.'
'We have friends who are on Manus and Nauru who have been unjustly treated by Wilson.'
'Incarceration of people is wrong especially for those who have sought safety.'
'Important message must be sent to state government, implicitly supporting current federal actions and human rights concerns.'
'As a frequent visitor to the Gallery, I am horrified that its security is entrusted to a company known for its participation in human rights abuses. Shame on you for even considering Wilson Security!'
'Wilson Security profit from the persecution of the innocent. They should not have any support from the arts sector.'
'I think Wilson's should have consequences for their alleged behaviour in offshore centres and not be given work at NGV.'
'I am against the inhumane treatment of refugees and l believe Wilson are culpable in this matter. I would struggle to support the NGV if they hired Wilson Security, or gave this company a contract.'
'I would not wish to be associated with any organisation who has dealings with Wilson security. This is due to the appalling record the firm has in assisting detention of refugees on Manus Is. and Nauru. Art, freedom and human rights have long been bedfellows. The moral and ethical position of NGV is compromised by any dealings with Wilson Security.'
'These people should be safe from harm and given asylum in Australia.'
'Wilson Security are violating human rights. They are harming the reputation of the NGV.'
Paula van Beek
'This company has caused unnecessary pain and suffering to people in detention centres.'
'The NGV should not be supporting this thuggish company.'
'Leading cultural institutions need to be speaking out against abuse, not collaborating and funding it.'
'Legitimising a company that oversee and profit from the abuse and torture of people seeking refuge is abhorrent - be ashamed and be swift to burn those contracts.'
'Because I support the right to seek asylum.'
Peter Ivor Wilson
'Moral objection to existing Australian policy on the handling of refugees.'
Peter SB Woods
'Wilson are bad'
'Totally against the incarceration of asylum seekers.'
'Australia's policy on asylum seekers is a national disgrace and NGV should not be in this filth in any way.'
'Wilson Security has a record of abusing the human rights of people. They should be boycotted until they investigate these abuses, sack the people involved and put procedures in place to make sure it never happens again.'
'Ethical organisations should not enter into partnerships with corporations that enforce a detention regime that is in violation of international law.'
'People can only use their power indirectly these days, since direct opposition to detention doesn't work, consumer choice can.'
'Please stop supporting those nasty companies enforcing abuse of refugees on Manus. I will not be visiting or promoting NGV until you cease working with Wilsons security.'
'Please do not support businesses that profit from unlawful and harmful imprisonment of people who need our help the most.'
'Human Rights for all.'
'Wilson Security have demonstrated that they are an unethical company. By contracting them, the NGV is also tainted with this immorality.'
'Anything that is supporting the inhumane practices currently being undertaken on Manus and Naru Islands is worth fighting against. Please reconsider your decision and make a difference to many vulnerable people's lives.'
'Germany 1930s. Australia 2017. I think you get my drift. No collaboration with concentration camp guards. Do the right thing.'
Rhea Yileen Phelan
Rhonda Leigh Bradmore
Richard Butler Bowdon
'I'm shocked at the way the asylum seekers are being treated by Wilson Security.'
'Rectify this situation.'
Robert L Schubett
'Wilson Security is bad news.'
'NGV should be a beacon for the morally and ethically conscious. This contract is a dirty little stain on an institution I hold sacred. Do not sully yourselves with the filth of the world- you are better than this. Your artists deserve better, the tortured men women and children of this world deserve better. Please do not support a security company who knowingly employ and support: child sex abuse, psychological abuse, physical abuse, withholding basic medical care, incarcerating those seeking protection and acting in direct contradiction of the international convention of human rights. NGV we shall forever hold you accountable for the friends you choose. Reputations cannot be undone.'
'Don't spend our money on evildoers.'
'Don't profit from human rights abuse.'
Ronald Arthur Woods
'All businesses associated with the appalling abuse of asylum seekers should be barred from providing services to ANY other organization.'
Rory J Cole
'Profit from other people's misery is deplorable.'
'I believe that the offshore immigration detention centres should be closed. Harsh treatment of the asylum seekers happens when the Australian government turns a blind eye and asks only for results rather than demands good treatment of those Australia has detained there.'
'The torture and abuse of refugees by employers of Wilsons Security is no secret.
You can surely not turn a blind eye to such atrocities being committed.
It would be in your favour to end all ties with Wilsons Security immediately.
I will no longer visit your gallery (and will encourage others to do the same) until this has happened.'
'Companies like this need to know their is a price for accepting unethical work.'
'Most folk know Australian immigration policy is barbaric. Do not support the enablers NGV, lest you be seen as one yourself. Get modern.'
'The NGV should not associate with companies that profit from human rights abuses.'
'I agree with the views expressed in the letter.'
'I do not want a company involved with the 'jailing' of refugees to be working at a public institution involved with the Arts. Unacceptable. One is about promoting love and creativity. The other is about inhibiting freedom.'
'This is unethical and a very poor indictment of your management's ability to comprehend the high expectations the public expects of your organisation.So the NGV is happy to show an artist like WeiWei as a money spinner but spurn his values.'
'Wilson Security are not an acceptable company given their actions in relation to people in detention and should not be supported.'
'Wilson Security has been associated with human rights violations of people seeking asylum and refugees. They should not be granted contracts - there should be no reward for those profiting from abuse.'
'Unconscionable behaviour by the NGV.'
'Because Wilson Security are committing human rights abuse and have been repeatedly revealed by inquiries to have committed sexual assault and child abuse of refugees on Manus Island and Nauru. This company is evil and profiteering off the misery of people who came seeking our help.'
'It is completely inhumane what we as a country are doing to refugees on Nauru and Manus Island. We must stop ignoring this and start acting as human beings.'
'I won't support agencies who are abusive to asylum seekers.'
'We achieve change by saying no to wrong behavior. Be a strong leader NGV and declare your commitment to the rights of all humans to fair treatment, protection from harm, and freedom.'
'The treatment of asylum seekers by Wilson security employees is disgusting and unacceptable, and they need to be held legally accountable for the many lives they have harmed and taken. Asylum seekers are just as deserving of safety and justice as any Australian.'
'There are basic choices we can make to help make the world a better place. This is one of yours.
Say no to supporting this despicable situation.'
'Doing business with anyone who is profiting from the torture and misery of people is despicable.'
'The NGV must not collude in the political persecution and torture and illegal captivity of people seeking asylum in Australia. The NGV needs to advocate for the immediate settlement in Australia of all the asylum seekers held on Manus and Nauru and reject doing business with Wilson security or any other organisation that is involved in human rights crimes! I will be using my publishing site to inform the community of NGV's current engagement of Wilson security that profits from cruelty and human rights crimes.'
Sarah Louise Carter
Sarah M Johnson
'I believe our cultural institutions need to take a stand against partnerships that play a role in breaching basic human rights. By having this partnership, Wilson Security is buying a public complacency agreement in support of their actions. What they are doing is not ok, and they can't make what they do acceptable with business deals like this one.'
'I do not wish to support an organisation that is in affiliation with Wilson Security as this company is involved in fundamentally flawed enterprises.'
Sean P Jeffery
'It is inhumane and myopic.'
'Unacceptable business partnership considering the charter of cultural institutes.'
'It is important that Wilson Security knows that Australians will not support them in degrading the Refugees on Manus Island & Nauru. Send them here.'
'Wilson Security profits from human misery.'
'The treatment of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island is a stain on our nation. As one of Australia's leading cultural organisations, the NGV has the authority and responsibility to signal a powerful refusal to sanction this institutional abuse of vulnerable people by terminating its contract with Wilson Security.'
'Wilson Security is an unethical company that should be sanctioned for their ill treatment of refugees on Manus Island and Nauru.'
'I agree with the ask.'
Siew Fang Law
'I do not support NGV as it endorses / supports Wilson, a company that make profit through violent systems and structures that put asylum seekers in unnecessary harms and danger.'
'My deep disgust with our treatment of those most in need of help.'
Simon Massey di Vallazza
'Please we are better than this.'
'I can't stand by in silence to human rights abuses.'
'Agreement with the contents of the petition.'
Soren Thilo Funder
'The NGV should know better.'
Stephanie Jane Hammett
'I do not support the resistance and violent and inhumane acts against refugees trying to flee persecution.'
Stephen de Tarczynski
'There are plenty of security companies to choose from.'
Steven Charles Raine
'People need to be treated like people. These refugees are people just like us.'
'I find this completely abhorrent to support off shore detention , it not a good look for NGV and i certainly won't be going anymore, I'm sure the artists you are exhibiting wouldn't be too pleased to learn of this dirty little secret, get a grip ! its 2017 !'
Stina Matilda Evjan
'Do not take support from companies profiting from the persecution of refugees.'
'Supporting brutality is not a good look for such a respected organisation. Please disassociate the NGV from Wilson's cruelty.'
'Wilson are profiting by being a crucial part of the torture on Manus and Nauru.'
'Need to tell Wilson to get out of Manus.'
'Wilson Security staff are alleged to have been directly involved in the abuse of refugees.
Additionally, the whole system which they oversee is morally bereft.
'I am truly shocked that the NGV would choose to commence a new contract with Wilson Security; the perpetrators of so much misery and deliberate cruelty on Nauru and Manus. Every day I read worsening accounts of refugees having their power and water cut off, and being told to return to their homeland, or relocate to the transit centre. Both options are extremely dangerous for these innocent people. Our heartless nation is breaking my heart, and as an arts educator I am appalled that an arts institution would sink so low as to condone this barbaric cruelty. We expect the arts to be the last bastion of civilisation. When they go, what is left? Please rethink this decision so Wilson security and our government can understand that a civilised society will not tolerate deliberate cruelty to innocent people.'
Susan Margaret McDonal
'Funds from Arts communities should not be used to employ companies complicit in human rights abuses.'
'A disgrace why would any company do this!'
'I work with asylum seekers & love the NGV.'
'Because the NGV should not support the inhumane treatment advocated by Wilson. And they should represent the arts community with transparency.'
'I do not support the contact with this company, changing to a security system rather than gallery employees was bad enough. I will not renew my membership if this proceeds.'
'To do nothing is to condone the violence perpetrated in asylum centres.'
'Appalling practices from Wilson regarding asylum seekers. Disappointing the NGV either didn't do their homework - or worse - overlooked it.'
'Outraged by the abuses and neglect by Wilson. Really horrible people.'
'I love the arts for its ability to challenge the status quo and promote freedom of thought thereby helping to create a more positive society that embraces difference. Hiring Wilson goes directly against this value. They have no regard for humanity. As a regular NGV visitor I am shocked and appalled by your decision. I question your values and hesitate to return to the NGV.'
'The Concentration Camps (Detention Centres) on Nauru and Manus Island are immoral, illegal and a disgrace to Australia's reputation as a fair country. Any company that would participate and profit from them cannot be supported by any arts organization let alone a State Gallery. Art is about freedom not about torture and indefinite detention.'
'To employ a company with the history of abuse of power for profit does not show good ethics.'
'It is shameful to be connected to the ongoing abuses of asylum seekers by our country and Wilson Security.'
Tanya Lazar de Calero
'To stop rewarding Wilson security.'
'Wilson Security is complicit in the abuse of refugees on Manus island and in Nauru, physical abuse emotional abuse mental abuse sexual abuse , they have a responsibility to keep these people safe they are failing in that duty, by doing business with Wilson Security the NGV is supporting the abuse of the refugees.'
'Human Rights are everybody's right!!!!!'
'Why would you want to support this firm?'
'To be associated with this company is to be associated with criminals.'
The Hacker Club
'This is everybody's business.'
'#STOPtheswill of bad & ill!'
'Supporting the cause.'
Tobias Manderson-Galvin (Theatre MKA)
'Wilson are despicable.'
'Because if we don't stand up who will?'
'I realise funding in the arts is difficult and there are many pressures at play, but it isn't acceptable to willingly engage a company that profits off exploiting human misery and inhumane practices. As a leading cultural institution in Australia, the NGV needs to show leadership on social and cultural issues.'
'Wilson Security have blood on their hands, do not endorse them or their involvement in Australia's violent border regime. The NGV has a significant voice and cultural position, the ability to make an impact and the responsibility that comes with it. Please commit to upholding values for human rights and a more just vision for society.'
'Will be no part of imprisonment of people with refugee status and the gallery should not be either...'
Vanessa Jane Pearson
'I'm absolutely disgusted by this, one of your lead exhibits was Ai Wei Wei who advocates for people seeking asylum, refugees & displaced people yet you dance w the devil who is responsible for so many atrocities.'
'Please don't do business with companies that profit from human rights abuse. Your reputation does not deserve to be tainted by this association.'
Veronica Caven Aldous
'Moral accountability is the new bottom line. Being a business, corporation or someone working for them does not abdicate one's bloody hands if they directly or indirectly support human or animal abuse on any level. NGV will have blood on it's hands as a result of such a partnership.'
'The detention of people seeking asylum is inhumane and illegal.'
'No tolerance for violence or funding the abuse of fellow human beings.'
'NGV should not employ Wilson Security because of its role, with Australian Federal Government, in keeping of refugees in inhumane detention on Manus and Nauru.'
'Please do not give money to Wilson Security. Please do not help normalise refugee detention, cruelty and death. Do not assist with a) the money required to perpetrate more cruelty, and b) the normalization required to do this, and worse, all over again. Please.'
'Should we be entrusting this company to protect a major component of our cultural heritage when their recent past actions seem to call into question issues both ethical and cultural?'
'It's the 21st Century. Human rights should be everyone's priority.'
'If we don't stand up for societies' most marginalised, we become complicit. The NGV's decision to engage the services of Wilson Security, make them complicit in compounding the tragic and desperate circumstances facing refugees. Wilson's engagement - presumably through winning tender $$$ - plus Tony Ellwood's supposed annual remuneration of $475,000 compounds a widely held perception that the NGV and its director are greedy and entirely out of touch with this society and our fellow citizens.'
'Anyone involved in the persecution of refugees must be held accountable.'
'This is shocking that the gallery is seeking sponsorship from a company that supports the misery of others.'