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Buddies Refugee Support Group
STOP PRESS
“I am free”: Behrouz Boochani, voice of Manus Island refugees, is free in New Zealand... MORE
Juliet Donald, who lives in Toronto, has applied to sponsor refugees from Manus and Nauru. 
Below right: Iranian refugee Amirhossein Sahragard arrives at Toronto airport.
Canada's private sponsorship scheme, which has operated since the late 1970s, allows groups of five people to apply to bring refugees of their choosing to Canada. Sponsors must raise about $18,000 for each refugee and help them find housing, employment and counselling services.
    "There is no other way for these people to get out," said Juliet Donald, an Australian clinical psychologist who lives in Toronto. She has applied to privately sponsor a gay refugee who fled Iran after being blackmailed as well as a refugee family of four on Nauru (see below).
   The group AdsUp has 17 applications underway and expects that number to rapidly expand. They are focused almost exclusively on the 330 estimated asylum seekers who are ineligible for the US resettlement program and have no prospect of being accepted by another third country. It is estimated that around 600 asylum seekers remain on Nauru and in PNG... more
Sunday 24 November, 11am
Buddies meeting, USC Sippy Downs. Guest speaker Gabby Sutherland, followed by members' business – agenda items to Paul McKinlay 0439 679 588. 12.30pm: Refreshments – please bring your own mug. Follow signs to Car Park 4. View the map.
Saturday 30 November, 11.30am
Buddies Xmas picnic, Cotton Tree
Wednesday 4 December, 7.30am
Bunnings sausage sizzle, Noosaville
Saturday 7 December, 11am
Buddies Reunion Picnic, Roma St Parklands
Saturday 7 December
The World's Big Sleep Out, The Gabba, Brisbane
Sunday 15 December, 3pm
SCRAN 2019 Celebration, Tanawha
13–14 February 2020
RCOA Refugee Alternatives Conference, Brisbane
SUNDAY 24 NOVEMBER

Next Buddies meeting

11am, USC
Our guest speaker will be Gabby Sutherland.
This will be our last meeting for the year.
SATURDAY 30 NOVEMBER

Buddies Xmas picnic

11.30am, Cotton Tree Park, Maroochydore
Bulletin readers, family and friends are invited to a Xmas picnic. Meet your fellow Buddies and join in the fun. BYO picnic goodies and chairs. More info: Paul 0439 679 588. RSVP refugeebuddies@outlook.com.  View the poster
WEDNESDAY 4 DECEMBER

Bunnings sausage sizzle fundraiser – 2 more people needed

7.30am–4.30pm, Bunnings Noosaville 
We need two more folk to help out, probably at the end of the session, 2.30 till 4.30pm. It's a fun way to meet other Buddies, and possibly spread the word about refugee support whilst hopefully raising lots of money towards Buddies’ work.
SATURDAY 7 DECEMBER 

Buddies Reunion Picnic – an invitation to all Homestay Hosts

11am, Roma Street Parklands, at the tables under the big white sails near the lake
An opportunity to catch up with new and old friends. Please contact your refugee friends and invite them to join us all. Please bring plenty of food and drinks to share with everyone. For more info email Kayla0427 380 235
SATURDAY 7 DECEMBER

The World's Big Sleep Out

The Gabba, Brisbane
For one night, in backyards, hometowns and iconic locations across the globe, people will sleep out in unison to create the world’s largest display of solidarity with those experiencing homelessness and displacement. The Romero Centre has been chosen as the charity mission to be benefiting 50% of funds raised from the event... MORE
SUNDAY 15 DECEMBER

SCRAN 2019 Celebration

Hosted by Sunshine Coast Refugee Action Network

3-6pm, Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens, Tanawha
Come and celebrate the year's achievements with us at a picnic style event. Take part in Amnesty International's annual Write for Rights campaign! Bring a plate of food to share (no meat or single-use plastics please) and BYO drinks. Hope to see you there!

What is happening in Bomana is a crime against humanity, it is a symbol of state terrorism.


–Behrouz Boochani, author and PNG detainee, on Twitter

The World's Big Sleep Out

Beata Ostapiej-Piatkowski, Romero Centre

Romero Centre is this event’s  beneficiary charity in Brisbane and will receive 50% of the funds. The Center team is also creating a Romero’s people/team whose goal is to raise $2500 so 10 people from Romero staff and clients can join the sleepout! You can donate directly to support us to achieve this goal HERE  • View the poster
THE CANADIAN COMMUNITY SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM
Canadians and Aussies are stepping up – if the government won’t resettle Manus and Nauru refugees, we will.

                        

GOOD NEWS! The $44,000 needed to bring this family to Canada has now been raised. 

GoFundMe

Six years on Nauru: 'Zahra' (30), 'Zain' (19) and their parents fled Iran due to fear of persecution based on religious and political beliefs and sexual orientation. Despite being found to be genuine refugees, the family have not been allowed by the government to be resettled in Australia.
All that is required now is the $6000 required for air fares, so please continue to contribute generously... more
 

Our contribution

The two screenings of Against Our Oath in Noosa and Nambour raised over $1,800 ($CAD1,536), which has been donated to this campaign. Please let your friends, family, work colleagues etc know about this great campaign to finally get everyone off Manus and Nauru. Why not make a donation on behalf of someone instead of a gift this Christmas?.... donate

Wonderful news! What a contribution Behrooz Boochani has made to fellow refugees and human rights everywhere! Australia rejected & tortured this man who would've so enriched our country. Hope he remains always safe & free.


–Wendy Bacon, journalist, researcher, activist, on Twitter

‘Designed to torture’: asylum seeker chooses Iranian prison over PNG detention centre

The Guardian, 9 November

A man who spent nine weeks locked up inside Australian-funded Bomana detention centre in Port Moresby describes hunger, isolation and lack of legal support. After nine weeks Iranian asylum seeker Ariobarzan has signed up to go home. Whatever fate awaits Ariobarzan in Iran, and it almost certainly means years in prison, he figures it can’t be worse than life inside Bomana. Detainees have no access to legal support or their families, no phones, no connection to the outside world other than limited contact with the Red Cross, not even the distractions of books or writing materials... more
 

Risking life in PNG limbo

The Saturday Paper, 9 November

Catholic priest Giorgio Licini is blunt about the fate of those who sought asylum in Australia but are now stranded in guesthouses and motels across Port Moresby. The men left behind, says Licini, who is the general secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands, “will die in a short span of time. Telling these exhausted people to start a life in PNG, forcing them to start a life in PNG, well, you will kill them. They will come out, they will roam around – no jobs, no food, no security – thugs will attack them. They will be in a very, very dramatic situation. If Australia intends to kill that way 200 people, well, you will take an historic responsibility.”.. more

Raj restaurant proprietor Siva denied asylum

Noosa Today, 12 August

Sri Lankan refugee Siva Kumar, owner of the Raj Indian Restaurant in Noosaville, had his application for asylum in Australia rejected in August, and with no further legal avenues to explore will be forced to find another country to welcome him. He said despite spending about $80,000 on legal costs the government informed him it was not the right way to apply. Now on a temporary visa Siva said he was trying to obtain a Sri Lankan passport so that he can apply for asylum in another country such as Canada or New Zealand where he can move with his Taiwanese partner and their eight month old daughter. He said it remains unsafe for him to return to Sri Lanka... more

PNG visit affirms need for safe, secure pathways for people seeking asylum

Catholic Outlook, 8 November

Seven representatives from the Catholic community in Australia have returned from a visit to PNG to pray and express solidarity with people seeking asylum and refugees and gain a better understanding of the human experience and complexities of the situation. The group has affirmed the need for the Medevac provision as part of a bill that will be debated in Parliament over the coming days, and called on the Federal Government to accept New Zealand’s or any other safe and secure country’s offer to secure the future of these individuals who are now either considered refugees, or migrants in a vulnerable situation... more

Australia refused to help repatriate refugee’s body after suicide

The Age, 10 November

A family mourning the death of an Afghan refugee in Australia has been left $15,000 out of pocket after the government refused to help pay to repatriate his body, advocates say. Sayed Mirwais Rohani, 32, killed himself in Brisbane last month after being taken there from Manus Island over concerns for his mental health. Dr Rohani, who had a general medical degree and worked as a doctor in Afghanistan and Pakistan, spent four years on Manus Island... more
Editor’s note: Since this article was written the Refugee Action Coalition has raised more than $15,000 through crowdfunding donations to reimburse the family.
 

Refugee Munjed Al Muderis overcomes ‘extraordinary’ obstacles for NSW top gong

SBS News, 4 November

Sydney orthopaedic surgeon, human rights advocate and refugee Munjed Al Muderis has been named NSW’s 2020 Australian of the Year. Professor Al Muderis, who was detained on Christmas Island and in several Australian jails after he fled Saddam Hussein’s regime by boat, is a compassionate ambassador for several organisations and advocate for asylum seekers and refugees, award organisers have said in a statement. The 47-year-old specialises in hip, knee and reconstructive surgery. He has taken a team to his former home country Iraq seven times, at his own expense, to help victims of the conflict he fled... more

‘We speak for the quiet Australians’: Medevac supporters hold overnight vigil

SBS News, 12 November

Medevac supporters have braved a cold Canberra night holding a vigil outside Parliament House to urge the Federal Government not to overturn refugee medical transfer laws. The medevac legislation allows refugees in offshore detention centres to be transferred for medical treatment or assessment under doctor referrals. But the government is attempting to repeal the legislation, arguing it poses a threat to border protection and national security. The repeal attempt could go to a vote in the Senate this week during an upper house only sitting week – however, the bill is not yet listed for debate... more
 
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Paul McKinlay, Penny Rivlin, Kayla Szumer, Lesley Willcoxson and Diana Woolley for their contributions to this edition.
DEADLINE FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: 5pm Wednesday
Please send contributions for the newsletter to the editor. 

EDITOR / PRODUCTION: Wendy Oakley
WEBSITE: Mike Law

FACEBOOK: Anneliese Broadaway
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ABOUT BUDDIES
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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