Ian Chappell on a campaign

ONE of Australian cricket's most successful captains, Ian Chappell, is seeking better treatment for asylum-seekers in the country. Chappell, 59, who was renowned for his take-no-prisoners leadership style in the 1970s and his brushes with authority, is speaking out against the government's policy on asylum-seekers.

He is among a group of prominent sporting, political and church figures who are campaigning against the John Howard conservative government for a just and compassionate treatment of refugees.

He appeared in a documentary programme on Australian Broadcasting Corporation showing him as an activist on behalf of the asylum-seekers.

Chappell has been lobbying political leaders in Canberra, visiting the Baxter Detention Centre in an isolated part of South Australia and has met refugee groups.

He was part of a delegation that met Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock calling for urgent changes to the treatment of asylum-seekers, being kept in long-term detention throughout Australia.

Chappell is a patron of an organisation called "A Just Australia", which seeks better treatment of refugees.

Other patrons in the protest group include former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, former Labour Party President Barry Jones, three-time Wimbledon tennis champion John Newcombe and Reverend Tim Costello, brother of Federal Treasurer Peter Costello.