Buddies Refugee Support Group

SBS News, 1 June

Home affairs minister Peter Dutton has blamed the Labor Party’s border protection policy for emboldening people smugglers, after the Australian Border Force recently confirmed a boat carrying 20 Sri Lankan asylum seekers had been intercepted. Mr Dutton said he believed the boat was a “test” to see whether Australia’s policy on boats had changed since the election earlier this month.
    “It’s clear to me that the people smugglers anticipated a Shorten-Labor government and no doubt they’ll be disappointed by the fact that didn’t happen,” he said.
     New Labor leader Anthony Albanese hit back at claims that Labor was responsible for the most recent people smuggling operation, pointing out the government has been in charge of borders for the past six years. “There have been ten boats come from Sri Lanka on this government’s watch – ten, not one,” he said... more
Friday 7 June, 5pm
LUMINOUS Lantern Parade, Southbank Parklands, Brisbane
Saturday 15–Saturday 22 June
Refugee Week Sunshine Coast Community Film Festival
Monday 17 June, 6pm
Buddies film night: Constance on the Edge, Buderim
Saturday 22 June, 6pm
Film night finale: The Staging Post, USC
Sunday 23 June, 11am
Buddies meeting, USC. 11am: Members' business – agenda items to Scott Grimmett 0427 364 802. 11.45am: Guest speaker. 12.30pm: Refreshments.
From now on our monthly meetings will be held at University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), BUILDING E, ROOM 14. Free parking on weekends. 

LUMINOUS Lantern Parade

5pm, South Bank Parklands, Brisbane
The 12th annual LUMINOUS Lantern Parade celebrates Queensland Week by highlighting the strength of our cultural diversity, our heritage and our people, giving us all the opportunity to say “Welcome!” to our newest Australians. This free event unites government, community leaders, multicultural communities and all Queenslanders… more

A world of stories

Saturday 15 June: Border Politics – Maleny
Monday 17 June: Constance on the Edge – Buderim
Tuesday 18 June: The Merger – Caloundra. Tickets $12.
Wednesday 19 June: Mary meets Mohammad – Noosa
Thursday 20 June: Border Politics – Eumundi
Thursday 20 June: The Merger – Sippy Downs
Friday 21 June: Constance on the Edge – Nambour
Saturday 22 June: The Staging Post – Sippy Downs

Welcome to Maleny film night: Border Politics (as part of Refugee Week)

5pm, Maleny RSL Hall
Julian Burnside deconstructs harsh asylum seeker policies around the world, arguing that failure in political leadership is compromising human rights. He questions whether the West has lost its moral compass adopting ideas that reject humanity and undermine democracy.

BUDDIES FILM NIGHT: Constance on the edge (as part of Refugee Week)

6pm, St Marks Church, Buderim
An unflinchingly honest portrayal of one refugee family’s resettlement story in Australia. Guest speaker: Elijah Buol (Australian of the Year, Qld Local Hero), advocate for refugees & young people. Light supper provided, donations welcome on the night to meet our costs. View the poster. Book here.

Refugee Week finale: The Staging Post

6pm, University of the Sunshine Coast
The film follows two Afghan Hazara refugees in Indonesia, who started a school and inspired a refugee education revolution. Film director Jolyon Hoff and Refugee Week Ambassador Muzafar Ali will lead a discussion and Q&A session after the film. About Muzafar.
More information and bookings

If this (the situation on Manus) was in our schools, military or police force it wld be a national disaster. When it happens to the most vulnerable we seem not to care. This is not the Australia I grew up in.

– Richard Cook, Australian citizen, on Twitter

Fundraising: Queensland Government’s Containers For Change program

Here is a new way to donate funds to Buddies and save the environment at the same time. When recycling eligible containers at a container refund point, 10 cents per container will be credited to Buddies bank account (use the Buddies I.D. number C10181760, or credit direct to our bank account (details below). Or bring the containers to the Buddies monthly meeting... More info

Avocados – a 'windfall' for Buddies

Kendall Snowden and Yokki Rother

We've done it – we've achieved our hoped-for goal of 
$2000! Picking avocados has not been without some challenging moments up a long ladder with an extension picker, but we dodged the showers and have just picked what we believe to be the last one! Special thanks to Scott Grimmett for his generous donation of fruit to Buddies and also to Bronwyn and Thene Bell for their harvesting help.

FACTSHEET: Alternative refugee pathways: private and community-led refugee sponsorship

The Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, University of New South Wales

In some countries including Australia, ordinary citizens can sponsor people who need protection. Under the Community Support Programme (CSP) introduced in 2017, individuals, community groups and businesses can sponsor eligible humanitarian entrants to resettle in Australia... read in full

Managing information, manipulating public opinion, controlling media, enforcing silence. Fascism already operates through aus gov practices on Manus and Nauru and is expanding to other places.

– Behrouz Boochani, writer and Manus detainee, on Twitter

Minutes and Finance for May 2019

Minutes of the May meeting, including the Finance Report, are attached HERE.

Dutton makes mad dash to Sri Lanka to hold people-smuggler crisis meetings

Daily Mail, 4 June

Peter Dutton has rushed to Sri Lanka after reports boatloads of asylum seekers are on their way to Australia. He is expected to discuss people smugglers with Sri Lanka’s President and other officials during his two-day visit. Mr Dutton said he was ‘disturbed’ with the interception of a vessel carrying 20 Sri Lankan asylum seekers off Australia’s north-west coast two weeks ago, before it was revealed up to six more boats could be en route… more

Blind refugee held in Australian detention for nine years

SBS News, 5 June

A UN working group has called on the Australian government to immediately release and compensate a 35-year-old Tamil refugee with multiple disabilities who has been in detention for more than nine years. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention wrote a “scathing” report about the individual being held since 2010, which has been seen by SBS News and is yet to be publicly released. The man is currently being held in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney’s west... more

New leadership team stays firm in support of medevac law

The Guardian, 5 June

Labor’s new leadership team has flagged it will stay firm in its support of controversial medevac legislation. While the government’s push to repeal the law still needs to be debated by the Labor caucus and shadow cabinet, leader Albanese and shadow home affairs minister Keneally have both expressed support for the medical evacuation regime, which passed into law against the government’s will in February. Since then 20 people have been transferred to Australia for treatment with another 40 brought to Australia under existing processes... more

Kristina Keneally vows to apply a ‘blowtorch’ to Peter Dutton

New Daily, 2 June

New Labor frontbencher Kristina Keneally has pledged boat turnbacks and offshore processing will remain a core element of the ALP’s asylum seeker policy, despite previously claiming it “smacks of cruelty”. As Home Affairs spokesperson, Ms Keneally said she had always supported boat turnbacks, despite Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s claims on Sunday she opposed the tactic. She also promised to apply “a blowtorch” to Mr Dutton’s administration of the portfolio noting a huge blowout in asylum seekers arriving by air... more

‘Highly embarrassing’: UN group slams Australia for detaining Vietnamese woman and her baby

SBS News, 4 June

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has slammed the Australian government for the ongoing detention of Vietnamese asylum seeker Huyen Thu Thi Tran and her 15-month-old baby in a Melbourne immigration facility. It criticised the government’s treatment calling for their immediate release and proper compensation. The group, which usually looks into countries with far more questionable human rights records than Australia, compiled a 17-page “opinion” on the pair... more

How a group of passionate locals are helping refugees find their ‘home among the gum trees’

ABC News, 1 June

A group of volunteers in the NSW coastal town of Port Macquarie has set up a support group, which receives no government funding, to welcome refugees to the area. Although Safe Haven Enterprise Visas encourage migrants to move out of cities and into regional areas for five years, there are often no support systems in place to help them find work, homes and settle in. The group aims to bridge that gap by welcoming migrants to the area, hosting them with local families and assisting them with settlement as part of a program called Home Among the Gum Trees... more

Cruel, and no deterrent: why Australia’s policy on asylum seekers must change

The Conversation, 31 May

It’s high time the government ceased linking detention on Manus and Nauru to stopping the boats. The experience during the Howard years suggests that simply the possibility of offshore detention is a sufficient deterrent. When the government settled asylum seekers on Nauru in Australia and New Zealand from 2002-04, without dismantling the offshore detention regime, asylum seekers did not begin arriving by boat. More recently, when interviewed after the passing of the medivac law, asylum seekers in Indonesia testified that they did not see taking a boat to Australia as an option... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, James Fowler, Ann Koenig, Paul McKinlay, Kendall Snowden, Lesley Willcoxson and Diana Woolley for their contributions to this edition.
Please send contributions for the newsletter to the editor. 


FACEBOOK: Anneliese Broadaway
The Buddies Refugee Support Group is a Sunshine Coast group 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.
   We are an independent community group and meet on the 4th Sunday of each month at 11am, 24 King Street Buderim.
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 
Or you can contribute to ‘The Box’ at our meetings and events. 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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