Buddies Refugee Support Group
Nades, Priya and their two children in better times...

The Guardian, 19 September

Two Tamil asylum seekers and their Australian-born daughters will remain in Australia for the foreseeable future after a federal court decided to hear their case. Justice Mordecai Bromberg has ruled that the family be kept in Australia until the case goes to a final hearing at a date yet to be determined.
     The case centres around the fact that until this week the government had not considered whether Tharunicaa was owed protection under Australia’s international obligations.
Under the Migration Act, people who arrive in Australia by boat cannot apply for a visa while in Australia. Even though Tharunicaa was born in Australia, she is given the same visa status as her parents. But the immigration minister has the power to 'lift the bar' to allow her to apply for a visa.
     After the case was launched, the home affairs department referred the case to minister David Coleman, but he had decided not to lift the bar. However a visa application for Tharunicaa was made last week, and the family’s lawyers have argued the application must be assessed.
     Labor has previously voiced its support for allowing the family to stay in Australia... more
How the Biloela Tamil family deportation case highlights the failures of our refugee system
Supporters of Tamil family call for them to be moved off 'jail-like' Christmas Island

Saturday 21 September, 10am–6pm
Festuri annual multicultural festival, Maroochydore
Sunday 22 September, 7.30am
Sausage Sizzle, Noosaville
Sunday 22 September, 11am
BUDDIES monthly meeting, Sippy Downs
Monday 23 – Friday 27 September
Learn English Holiday, Buderim
Saturday 26 October–Saturday 2 November
National Unity Week

FESTURI Multicultural Festival

10am–6pm, Cotton Tree Park, Maroochydore 
The Sunshine Coast’s annual festival is celebrating its 20th year. FESTURI is a free multicultural celebration of community, culture and diversity – a family day of international food, music, dance and more. Drop by the SCRAN stall and catch up with members of Buddies and Amnesty, or lend a hand for half an hour chatting with people about refugee issues. View the brochure.
11am, University of the Sunshine Coast

Members' business – agenda items to Paul McKinlay 0439 679 588.
Please feel free to contact Paul with any suggestions. 
Rather than a guest speaker, this month we want to discuss strategy and future directions.
12.30pm: Refreshments – please bring your own tea/coffee mug. 
Follow the University signs to Car Park 4. View the map.


Non-perishable food and toiletries for the Buddies Food Drive which assists asylum seekers in the community in Brisbane via the Romero Centre. Items such as rice, UHT milk, coffee, shampoo etc gratefully received.
Items requested & drop-off points

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. There will be another sizzle on Wednesday 4 December if you can't make it to this one!

September Learn English Holiday program

Immanuel Lutheran College, 125 Wises Rd, Buderim
There has been a great response to our request for more homestay hosts – we have managed to find homestays for 59 people, and have also had lots of classroom volunteers make contact. We’ve gone from thinking it was almost impossible to being almost overwhelmed with offers of assistance. Heartfelt thanks to all of you!

"No-one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark."
This is why refugees flee.

– Rural Australians for Refugees, quoting from a poem by British-Somali poet Warsan Shire, on Facebook
The Eumundi market carparking is one the most important of our fundraisers.

One volunteer needed now...

The good news is – reliable helper Pasco has been employed as manager of the carpark! The bad news is – Buddies has lost a helper for the 7-9am slot on the 1st Saturday of the month! Are you feeling an urge to fill this position occasionally? It is fun to be part of the team and the staff are also there, helping us out. Dee Williams will be thrilled to have you on the team. Email Dee, 0411 463 041.

...and a few more needed in November

Eumundi carparks will have an extra session available from November – if Buddies can raise at least 6 volunteers to man the gate and direct traffic. Four are needed for the two sessions (8am-10am and 10am-12.30pm) as well as some extras to cover holidays and sickness. There would be help provided initially and ECCO (Eumundi Combined Community Organisation) are a friendly lot to work alongside.
If you can manage to spare two hours on the morning of the 4th Saturday of the month to help out in either capacity (money gatherer or flag waver) please contact Penny Rivlin, 0419 666 116. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Scholarship opportunity at USC for people seeking asylum

The University of the Sunshine Coast is offering two full-fee plus living assistance scholarships, for courses starting in Semester 1 2020. Applicants must be on a Bridging Visa, Temporary Protection Visa or Safe Haven Enterprise Visa. Each scholarship will fully cover the student tuition fees plus include a stipend of $4,000 per year and $1,000 one-off upfront payment in the first year. Applications close 30 November 2019.  More details HERE.

Age and background no barrier

Last weekend a number of families at the Crystal Waters community hosted a group of around 20 Bhutanese / Nepalese refugees, referred by Multicultural Development Australia (MDA) and supported by Buddies through payment of travel costs and advice. It’s a useful program as it offers a homestay opportunity for those from rural areas who are much less likely to register for our Learn English Holiday. Pictured are 8yo Youran (born in a refugee camp in Nepal) and 6yo Monty (Crystal Waters resident) who became instant friends and plan to stay in touch! Report to follow.

Poll: majority of Australians support medevac or better asylum care

The Guardian, 17 September

A majority of Australians either approve of the medevac procedures, or think more needs to be done to protect the health and welfare of asylum seekers offshore, according to the latest Guardian Essential poll. While the fortnightly survey of 1,093 respondents finds majority support (52%) for offshore detention, with 25% signalling strong support for Australia’s harsh deterrence framework – 41% of the survey thinks the medevac procedures strike a balance between strong borders and humane treatment for people in offshore detention, and 23% argue the legislation does not go far enough to provide humane treatment for people in offshore detention... more

Dutton says Biloela Tamil children are ‘anchor babies’ used to help case

The Guardian, 12 September

Peter Dutton says activists are trying to bully the government in an asylum seeker fight that has cost taxpayers ‘millions of dollars’. He has referred to the two children of the Biloela Tamil family as “anchor babies” and blamed them for costing taxpayers in incendiary comments defending the government’s decision to deport the Biloela family. The minister has echoed anti-immigrant rhetoric from the United States, borrowing a term used by Donald Trump to justify a plan to end birthright citizenship, and claims that Labor, the Greens and refugee activists are attempting to “bully” the Morrison government into allowing the family to stay... more

UN official flags immigration detention concerns ahead of all-access visit

SBS News, 16 September

A team from the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture will have unlimited access to a range of Australian detention facilities in the “coming months”, dates and details remaining closely guarded. But subcommittee chair Sir Malcolm Evans gave some indication of what the group may look into. “Immigration detention is an area we’ve been paying more attention to in recent years around the world. Children should never be held in detention facilities", he said... more

Detained refugee appointed professor at two top universities, will teach over Skype

Newsweek, 17 September

After winning the Victorian Prize for Literature and The Australian National Biography Award, Behrouz Boochani is set to become a professor at not just one, but two of the world’s top universities. Speaking to Newsweek in a phone interview, Boochani said he was thrilled to be joining University of New South Wales as an adjunct associate professor in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, in addition to joining the University of London as a visiting professor... more

South Sudanese singer Nyapal Lul making music again after fleeing homeland

ABC Alice Springs, 15 September 

Everything South Sudanese singer Nyapal Lul is doing in her new home of Alice Springs is for the five children she left behind. When war broke out in South Sudan Nyapal Lul and her family fled to Kenya. While performing in Australia in 2015, she applied for a protection visa and has not seen her five children since. Ms Lul’s mother is looking after her children in Kenya. Her youngest child, just 11 months old at the time, is now five... more

OPINION: I am a Tamil asylum seeker in Australia. I don’t hold hope

SBS Dateline, 18 September 

Shanmuganathan Nagaveeran is a Tamil asylum seeker in Melbourne and has been helping other refugees while he waits for the government’s decision on his own determination. He is deeply concerned about the Biloela Tamil family and other asylum seekers, whose lives are in the hands of the Australian government. “I was first sent to Christmas Island, then transferred to the Nauru detention centre where I stayed for three years. To this day, I describe that facility as a human dumping ground. Now I am 39 years old, living in Melbourne in a share house and running a cleaning business with a friend. But I am still waiting... more

Why this Ballarat family lives in fear of deportation

The Courier, 14 September

A family in Ballarat in Victoria is maintaining hope that it will be granted a visa to continue living in Australia, despite the continued state of ambiguity surrounding their request to be granted asylum here. Neelavannan Paramanathan, or Neil Para, has long lived in fear that his family will be deported back to Sri Lanka. He understands the plight of the Biloela family who are also Tamil but had made a home for themselves in regional Queensland before they were taken into detention last year. Both families feel they will be persecuted if they return to their home country. Mr Para said the situation worried him... more
Thank you to Tayla Bostock, Dominique Cisse, Janine de la Begassiere, Gillian Duffy, Morag Gamble, Penny Rivlin, Lesley Willcoxson, Dee Williams 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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