Buddies Refugee Support Group
Abdul Aziz Muhamat in Switzerland, and (below) on Manus Island

ABC News, 1 October

Manus detainee Abdul Aziz Muhamat was burdened with a heavy choice. In February Aziz won the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders for his years of work resisting Australia’s offshore detention policies, judged by ten of the world’s leading human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
    Despite doubts, and a crushing sense of guilt and duty towards the people he left behind, Aziz decided he would be a more effective advocate if he could remain in Europe. On the day he was due to leave Switzerland in early March, Aziz instead sought asylum.
    Finally, in June, Aziz received a phone call from his lawyer telling him that Switzerland had granted him asylum and permanent residency. Aziz was giddy with joy and relief. “I was sitting in the library and my lawyer rang,” he said. “My heart started beating so fast"... more
Monday 21 October, 5.15pm
Movie: Against our oath, Noosa 
Wednesday 23 October, 5.50pm
Movie: Against our oath, Nambour 
Saturday 26 October–Saturday 2 November
National Unity Week
Sunday 27 October, 11am, Sippy Downs
Buddies meeting. Guest speaker followed by members' business – agenda items to Paul McKinlay 0439 679 588. 12.30pm: Refreshments – please bring your own mug. Follow the signs to Car Park 4. View the map.
Wednesday 4 December, 7.30am
Bunnings sausage sizzle, Noosaville

Movie: Against Our Oath – the inside story to the Medivac Bill

5.15pm start, 5.50pm film, Noosa Cinema
Screened by SCRAN. We need to sell enough tickets to cover costs by promoting this film to your friends etc. Email the attached posters to your networks or print out for community noticeboards or email SCRAN for A5 flyers to hand out. Tickets $25. •  View the poster.

5.50pm, Majestic Cinema, Nambour.
Tickets: $20 adults, $13.50 students • View the poster


Bunnings sausage sizzle fundraiser

7.30am–4.30pm, Bunnings Noosaville 
A fun way to meet other Buddies, and possibly spread the word about refugee support whilst hopefully raising lots of money towards Buddies’ work. Sausage sizzles are a great fundraiser for Buddies.

We don’t bring our papers with us but we bring our experiences, love & support to the communities. All we are looking for is chance or space for to share those valuable ideas.

– Abdul Aziz Muhamat, former Manus detainee, now Swiss citizen, on Twitter
Canadians and Aussies are stepping up – if the Australian government won’t resettle Manus and Nauru refugees, we will.
The Ads-Up Refugee Network comprises 1,700 Aussies in the USA, Australia and Canada who have been helping hundreds of Manus and Nauru refugees find their feet in America. Now the USA deal is coming to an end with hundreds of refugees still stuck in limbo, so we’re building a network in Canada to help sponsor the refugees under Canada’s private and community sponsorship programs.  
Join the Ads-up Canada mailing list to help us extend our network... more

PETITION: Australia needs a Community Sponsorship Program similar to Canada's

Amnesty International

Last week we highlighted the plight of Kamran, a gay Iranian refugee held on Manus for six years. Community groups in Canada and Australia have been raising money to sponsor Kamran to be resettled in Canada. We are happy to announce the $18,000 target has been reached. Thanks to all those who donated. Amnesty is calling for a similar scheme in Australia. Please sign the petition and encourage friends and family to sign as well... SIGN

Help Nasir get from Manus to Canada also


The Poet of Manus Island: Iranian Nasir is a talented poet who uses his powerful and heart-breaking words to speak out against injustice. We already have our sponsors in place in Canada, but need to confirm to the Canadian government that we have funds to support Nasir's first 12 months of life there (CAD$17,000)… Already raised – $10,000… more 
The Eumundi market carparking is one the most important of our fundraisers.

Please consider joining the team!

If a few more Buddies can volunteer to help as a flag person or taking money at the gate, we can take on an extra session. The arrangement already generates almost $5000 from the 2 carpark slots on 1st Wednesday and Saturday of the month that Buddies trusty volunteers already help at. Training is provided as well as umbrellas, hats, jackets and rainwear if needed.
   Please email Penny Rivlin if you want more info and can spare a couple of hours to help.

Towards a Refugee Protection Bill

Rural Australians for Refugees

Andrew Wilkie will introduce a Refugee Protection Bill on Monday 21 October. Its aim is to get the Australian government with the help of the opposition to accept the NZ offer to resettle asylum seekers currently in PNG. RAR is partnering with many other refugee advocacy and support groups to campaign for this bill to be successful! Please read the bill here EM-Refugee Protection Bill and find out more about the activities planned in support... more

Minutes of the September Buddies meeting

Minutes of the Buddies meeting on 22 September 2019, including the finance report, can be read HERE or on the Buddies website.

Refugee groups ‘deeply concerned’ by ‘secret report’ on resettlement of humanitarian migrants

SBS News, 1 October

Refugee support groups are urging the Morrison government to heed the findings of a ‘secret’ government report on resettlement programs for humanitarian migrants in Australia. The major review exploring refugee resettlement has been kept under wraps since being commissioned last year with the Federal government refusing to release it. Leaked details have detailed its calls to create a “more positive narrative” around refugees. The government has reportedly sat on the report led by former top bureaucrat Peter Shergold since February this year, refusing Freedom of Information requests to make it public... more

Grave concerns for asylum seekers held in new PNG detention centre

Radio NZ, 29 August 

An advocate for the people being held in PNG and on Nauru is concerned about the fate of men moved into a detention centre in Port Moresby. Fifty-three asylum seekers not granted refugee status by PNG have been incarcerated at the Bomana centre, apparently indefinitely. David Manne of Refugee Legal said there had been no reasons given for why this action had been taken. Mr Manne provides legal representation for some in the group and said he had not been able to speak with his clients for some time. “It is a matter of profound concern that they have been detained. Many of these men are experiencing very serious health conditions,” he said... more

From Sri Lanka to Jakarta to Sale, this Tamil family hopes a 6-year visa wait ends in regional Victoria

ABC Gippsland, 27 September

 After years on a bridging visa, 53 year old Pusparani Kumaravel wants to be able to call Sale home.  It is important to her as her family have no certainty about whether they can stay living in regional Victoria after travelling to Australia by boat six years ago. This decision is out of their hands and with the Federal Immigration Department. The family are part of a group of asylum seekers called the ‘legacy caseload’ — a group of about 30,000 people who arrived by boat between 2012 and 2013, and have been living in Australia on bridging visas… more

Pope slams global indifference to refugees

Nambucca Guardian, 29 September

Pope Francis has decried the indifference to refugees on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees – “the culture of comfort,” which leads to indifference in the face of a global migration and refugee crisis. “We cannot be indifferent to the tragedy of old and new forms of poverty, to the bleak isolation, contempt and discrimination experienced by those who do not belong to ‘our group.”’ he said. Many migrants and refugees from conflicts throughout the world attended the mass in St. Peter’s Square, which closed with the unveiling of a bronze statue depicting migrants packed on a boat... more

UN asks Australia to take Biloela Tamil family out of detention on Christmas Island

ABC News, 2 October

The UN Human Rights Committee has asked Australia to end the "existing situation of detention" for the Tamil family being held on Christmas Island. In a letter two special rapporteurs told the family's lawyer they had requested Australia transfer Tharnicaa and her family "into a community setting arrangement, to to find another way to end their existing situation of detention". The UN body cannot force the Government to comply with the request and Home Affairs says the family will remain on Christmas Island while the case moves through the court system… more

Playing God with the Tamil family’s fate

Eureka Street, 23 September

Last week the Federal Court granted an interim injunction to a child born in Australia preventing her removal from Australia pending a consideration of any case she may have to remain. The case will be fully considered later but it raises complex issues regarding the statutory bars preventing asylum seekers from even making any application at all, and the exercise of the ministerial discretion to lift that bar. Under the Migration Portfolio legislation, there are around 47 provisions that allow the minister to exercise their discretion in the public or national interest. The minister can grant any visa the minister wants to grant, or none at all... more

The Rohingya are a people of nowhere – they shouldn’t be abandoned

Washington Post, 13 September

Two years ago Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown of violence against the Muslim Rohingya population of Rakhine state in the western part of the country. In the attacks, which the US has described as ethnic cleansing and UN investigators called possible crimes against humanity, civilians were killed, their villages burned to the ground and some 750,000 people fled for their lives. Now, the displaced Rohingya languish in neighboring Bangladesh, a seething humanitarian challenge, while Buddhist-majority Myanmar, also known as Burma, tries to cover up and forget the destruction of Rohingya villages and homes... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Len Mangan, Penny Rivlin 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, University of the Sunshine Coast, Building E, Ground Floor Room 14.
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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