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This Is The Story Behind The "Real Australians Say Welcome" Posters

With courage let us all combine.

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Adelaide artist Peter Drew is currently travelling across Australia putting up posters designed to challenge views on immigration.

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The posters, which read "Real Australians say welcome", are intended to encourage people to rethink their views on asylum seekers and immigrants in Australia.

Drew embarked on the ambitious project after raising over $8000 on crowdfunding website Pozible.

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Drew told BuzzFeed News he was inspired by the largely forgotten lyrics of the second verse of the Australian national anthem.

The forgotten lyrics Drew refers to are "For those who've come across the seas / We've boundless plains to share / With courage let us all combine / To advance Australia fair".

"My favourite line is definitely the one about having the courage to combine, because courage is meant to be an Australian value," he said.

"And I think, what good is courage if we can't use it in our day to day interactions with people? It's worth admitting that sometimes it takes courage to look at people who seem different and be welcoming towards them."

Drew is planning to put up 1000 posters across the country, which he estimates will take him a couple of months. He plans to finish in Canberra in mid-June to coincide with Refugee Week.

Drew's work has been well-received on social media since he started putting up posters in Sydney this week, with many posting messages of support.

I want to live in a country where refugees and asylum seekers are welcomed and supported! #RealAustraliansSayWelcome

Drew said the past week had led him to realise the project could directly affect asylum seekers too, as well as encouraging people to interrogate their views.

"When I started planning the project it was really about poking people who aren't open to asylum seekers, or who are afraid of asylum seekers, and don't see being welcoming as part of our national identity," he said.

"But over the last week, I've realized that there's a whole second audience to this project, and that's the asylum seekers themselves. A lot of asylum seekers are already living in our community... I hope this project can make them feel more welcome."

Love seeing these turn up around a corner #realaustralianssaywelcome

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