Buddies Refugee Support Group
Members of the Myanmar community demonstrate outside Parliament House in Canberra.
The Morrison government faces fresh calls to allow more than 3,000 citizens of Myanmar to stay in Australia once their visas expire. With more than 600 civilians now estimated to have been killed in violent crackdowns by security forces since the 1 February military coup, Labor has written to Australian ministers to demand help for temporary visa holders and the expansion of sanctions against junta figures.
    “No one should be involuntarily deported to Myanmar if they don’t want to go back,” opposition foreign affairs spokesperson Penny Wong and her home affairs colleague Kristina Keneally said.
    There were 3,366 visa holders from Myanmar in Australia at the end of February, including 1,680 students and 612 bridging visa holders. Wong and Keneally said the deteriorating situation was “causing extreme distress for members of Myanmar’s diaspora community in Australia”.
    “We are therefore urging the government to enable these Myanmar nationals to extend their stay,” they told foreign minister Marise Payne, home affairs minister Karen Andrews and  immigration minister Alex Hawke... more

#Operation not forgotten: One hour information session

AdsUp Canada, in partnership with MOSAIC and the Refugee Council of Australia

10am, online
REGISTER: 17 AprilREGISTER: 20 April

Join Jan Fran for the inaugural RACS Book Club

Refugee Advice & Casework Service

7:30 – 8:30 PM, online event
A bi-annual event featuring stories from around the world to highlight the experience of refugees, their communities and people seeking asylum. Join the inaugural session to discuss The Kabul Peace House by Mark Isaacs. All proceeds from ticket sales support the work of the Refugee Advice & Casework Service... more

$10,000 per day, per person,  for 115 people left on Nauru. One and a half billion wasted. NZ offered to resettle them 7 years ago. Both the ongoing & residual pain caused to thousands, and the expense, are an obscenity.

– Craig Foster, former Socceroo and refugee advocate, on Twitter

VIDEO: One Plus One: Moz Azimi, with Kurt Fearnley

ABC iView

Kurdish refugee Mostafa Azimitabar fled Iran in 2013, attempting to come to Australia by boat. Almost eight years later he was released into the community, after a journey that took him to Christmas Island, Manus Island, Port Moresby and two inner city Melbourne hotels... WATCH


Jill Horton, Team Canada

Ravi fled at 25 from India where his uncle was murdered in front of him. He is still stuck in PNG as the Australian Government has not brought him here for medical treatment even though he was approved for Medevac in July 2019. Ravi does not have refugee status but Team Canada has been able to secure an organisation to sponsor him to Canada.
“We are being treated much worse than criminals, even though we haven't committed any crime”… MORE

Recycling for refugees

Lynda Utting, Buddies Director

It requires very little effort to start collecting eligible glass & plastic bottles and aluminium cans and then depositing them at one of the many approved recycling centres: Containers for Change or Envirobank Recycling.  Check online to locate your nearest drop-off centre.
    All eligible items are refunded 10 cents each and the total refund can then be easily transferred to Buddies to go straight to assisting refugees living in the community. You will need to quote the scheme number C10181760.

Buy Goodwill Wines any time and support Buddies at the same time

Penny Rivlin, Buddies Finance Group

You may have missed your opportunity to celebrate Easter with a bottle or two of Goodwill Wines, but it’s never too late – there’s always the May Day long weekend!
    Half of the profit from every bottle sold goes to Buddies, and so far sales have raised $1,928... more

Kristina Keneally accuses Peter Dutton of cancelling her trip to meet Biloela family

The Guardian, 14 April

Shadow minister for home affairs Kristina Keneally says Peter Dutton revoked permission for the Senate committee trip to Christmas Island after she was granted permission to visit a Tamil family from Biloela.
    The Labor senator said she had been granted permission by Australian Border Force at 4.50pm to visit the detention centre next week and she tweeted she was looking forward to meeting Priya, Nades and their children.
    But Keneally said just 22 minutes after receiving permission from the ABF on Wednesday, she had received an email saying the “defence minister has determined that the special purpose aircraft can no longer be made available for the committee’s travel”... more

Iranian refugee held in detention for five years sues government for negligence

ABC News, 6 April

More than 20 years have passed since Iranian-born Payam Saadat arrived on Australia’s shores, after a perilous 29-day journey by boat to Ashmore Reef. He spent five years in detention after arriving from Iran, and says the experience has caused ongoing mental health issues.
    His trial will act as a test case for dozens of other refugees who were detained in similar circumstances
    As a Howard-era asylum seeker, Mr Saadat was detained on mainland Australia, first at Curtin in Western Australia from 2000 to 2002, and then at Baxter Detention Centre in South Australia, for almost three years.
    He is suing the Federal Government for mental injuries he alleges he suffered while he was held in detention... more

UPDATE: The Guardian: Kristina Keneally to make own way to Christmas Island after Peter Dutton blocks use of RAAF jet

Iraqi family left ‘crushed’ after four failed asylum bids following boat arrival

SBS News, 6 April

Iraqi law graduate and father of two Fares Al Kilaby arrived in Australia by boat in 2013. He has had his appeals to remain in Australia rejected four times and says a High Court decision to reject his family’s asylum bid has placed them on the brink of homelessness.
    More than 50,000 people arrived in Australia by boat between 2009 and 2013 – the majority  living here with no clear path to naturalisation. Some have gone on to secure protection visas, while others remain on temporary visas, which provide them safe haven for a period of  three to five years... more

Married in Nauru, kept apart in Australia – Mehreen and Hayder’s story

Refugee Voices, 6 April

Mehreen attempted to come to Australia by boat from Pakistan in 2013. She instead found herself in detention on Nauru. She holds a Master’s in International Relations and has worked professionally in a variety of fields. 
    Mehreen met Hayder, her future husband, in Nauru. Not long after the wedding, Mehreen found out she was pregnant and struggled with the idea of giving birth on Nauru.
    Mehreen spoke about her life in Nauru, the challenges of being kept apart from her husband in Australia, and her experiences as mother to Eshel, now three years old... more

How the Hazara community changed Adelaide’s Prospect Road

ABC News, 8 April

Hanif Rahimi says he couldn’t have foreseen the changes in Prospect Road when he migrated to Adelaide in 2001. Empty streets, closed shops, and broken glass on pavements — that’s what he recalls of the road just two decades ago.
    He’d just arrived in South Australia with his family, and what’s now been called Little Afghanistan was far from anything he thought possible. Now a new report by South Australia University has found Hazara refugees from Afghanistan have revitalized the once declining LGA into a “thriving, multicultural, dynamic hub”... more

Will Karen Andrews bring a more compassionate approach?

The Conversation, 1 April

One of the most significant messages in Scott Morrison’s recent cabinet reshuffle was the elevation of the industry and science minister, Karen Andrews, to the hawkishly masculine, security-heavy mega-ministry of home affairs.
    Naturally quiet, Andrews is no household name. As a Queenslander, she is a member of the colourfully conservative LNP, along with more bombastic alpha-males such as Peter Dutton, George Christensen, Matt Canavan, and Andrew Laming.
    Yet for all their jaw-jutting, Andrews has impressed stakeholders in her industry sector. She has also attracted attention in the parliament for being both uncommonly capable, and refreshingly unpolitical... more

A list of things Peter Dutton says we shouldn’t talk about to avoid being threatened with defamation

Crikey, 8 April

It seems that defence minister Peter Dutton can dish it out, but he can’t take it. He has issued defamation threats to a number of social media users who labelled him a “rape apologist” after he made dismissive comments about Brittany Higgins.
    Dutton has targeted a wide range of people with letters from his lawyers, from unemployed Twitter users to prominent politicians including Greens Senator Larissa Waters (who later apologised). Here are a few unsavoury things he’s said in his time – on women, on race, on asylum seekers and more (and a list of things you can joke about if you’d like to get sued)... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Jill Horton, Gaynore Stoessel, Lynda Utting and Diana Woolley for their contributions to this edition.
Please send contributions for the newsletter to the editor. 

WEBSITE: Wendy Oakley

FACEBOOK: Anneliese Broadaway
Buddies is an independent community group based on the Sunshine Coast which advocates for just and compassionate treatment of refugees, consistent with the human rights standards which Australia has developed and endorsed.
   We support policies towards refugees and asylum seekers that reflect respect, decency and traditional Australian generosity to those in need, while advancing Australia’s international standing and national interests.
Confidentiality  Your email address is completely confidential.
To contribute to Buddies   Buddies’ fundraising contributes to refugee and asylum seeker support. You can direct debit to:
Suncorp Bank, BSB 484-799     
Account No: 123508960    
Account name: Buddies Refugee Support Group Ltd 
Your donations are much appreciated by those we help.

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Buddies Refugee Support Group · PO Box 367 · Buderim, Qld 4556 · Australia

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