Wollongong and the Illawarra were great examples of how communities overwhelmingly welcomed refugees.
But Australia was perhaps at its worst point in its history when it came to its treatment of those seeking Australia's protection from persecution.
That's what Refugee Council of Australia chief executive officer Paul Power told the hundred plus people who attended the Say Yes to Refugees rally in Wollongong on Sunday.
Similar Palm Sunday events were held across Australia.
Tens of thousands of people rallied and marched in every capital city and at least 12 regional cities across Australia - calling for a humanitarian refugee policy and end to offshore detention.
This view was echoed by speaker after speaker at the Wollongong rally organised by the Refugee Action Collective Illawarra.
Mr Power led the call for the next federal government to adopt a humane refugee policy that will bring all those asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru to safety in Australia.
"We've got close to 1000 people on Naura and Manus Island in asylum, many of whom are suffering greatly from being detained for more than five and half years each," he said.
"Over the past two years we've seen thousands of people living in the community on bridging visas who've lost any form of support from the federal government as part of a little known policy that the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has been pushing.
"There are many ways in which Australia needs to rethink what it is doing in its treatment of people seeking asylum.
"Around the country today, including here in Wollongong we've got people who really want to see a better approach, a more practical approach, a more humane approach to the treatment of refugees in our country."
Dr Rachael Jacobs from Teachers for Refugees called on political parties of all persuasions to stop using society's most vulnerable people as political pawns.
This view was backed by Mr Power, who added federal politicians use refugee issues for political battles which are often about other things other than the treatment of refugees.
"Hopefully out of this election cycle and the life of the new parliament we might actually come up with a different approach politically," he said.
"Refugees and people seeking asylum are probably the most politically powerless people in the country and when their situation becomes the matter of political debate, refugees almost always lose out.
"We need to focus more on the needs of the thousands of individuals who are being affected by government policy."