Buddies Refugee Support Group

SBS News, 15 April

Demonstrations were held in a number of capital cities and regional centres around Australia on Sunday, with protesters brandishing signs with messages including 'Vote Humanity Not Atrocity' and “Say Yes To Refugees”.
     Football commentator and advocate Craig Foster, who successfully fought for the release of footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi from a Bangkok jail earlier this year, said Australia’s national conscience was severely damaged by deaths on Manus Island and Nauru. He said as great as the Save Hakeem campaign was, “it was also an immense challenge: to me, to you and to all other 25 million Australians”.
     “If we can save him, we can save everyone on Manus, Nauru, we can save every refugee who deserves the right to asylum, and in the end, people, we can save ourselves,” Foster said... more
Read Richard Flanagan’s Palm Sunday speech below.

Sunday 28 April, 11am
Buddies meeting, 24 King St, Buderim. 11am: Members' business – agenda items to Scott Grimmett 0427 364 802. 11.45am: Guest speaker. 12.30pm: Refreshments.
Sunday 2 June, 5pm
Communify community dinner, Bardon


Non-perishable food and toiletries for the Buddies Food Drive. Our ongoing food drive 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
The next two Sunday meetings will be held as usual at St Mary's in Buderim, but as of June we will be moving to the University of the Sunshine Coast. More details to come later.

Communify's Asylum Circle Kurdish and Persian community dinner

5pm, 172 Jubilee Terrace, Bardon
Communify Asylum Circle provides transitional supported accommodation to 18 men, originally from the Congo, Cameroon, Iran, Sri Lanka and Iraq, with bridging visas and no access to Centrelink payments. 
RSVP: Mandy Cox, 0421 662 566. View the poster.

Don’t vote for tormenting innocent people. This disgraceful electoral game has been destroying lives for years.

– Lucy Ham, refugee advocate, on Twitter

PETITION: Let Kinley and his family stay in Australia

Kinley and his family deserve to stay in Australia, but because of Kinley’s hearing loss and learning difficulties, he does not meet the health requirements for permanent residency. As a consequence, after years living here the family will face deportation back to Bhutan unless given special consideration by the immigration minister.… SIGN

Episode 8: Daniel Webb: The endless fight for asylum seekers rights

Daniel Webb has led the Human Rights Law Centre’s advocacy, fighting endlessly in the courts for the rights of asylum seekers, heading the Centre’s advocacy at the UN Human Rights Council and winning international accolades for his tireless efforts. He suggests that many of the activities played out on Manus and Nauru would not be possible if Australia had a Bill of Rights... WATCH

If Mr Dutton wins, there are 40 days after the return of the writ in which his eligibility can be challenged by the public.

– Antony Green, ABC election analyst, on Twitter

REPORT: Dinner with guest speaker Jason Scanes

Gillian Duffy, Noosa Welcomes Refugees

Now ALP candidate for Wide Bay, Jason has guest lectured at UNSW on the human rights of combat interpreters. At our dinner at the Raj Indian Restaurant in Noosaville on Tuesday evening, he spoke passionately on the theme of courage, mateship and compassion – core Australian military values – and about his advocacy for veterans and interpreters as his contribution to public service… View the full report.

Advocacy groups lobby to halt imminent deportation of deaf Bhutanese teen

SBS News, 11 April

Advocacy groups representing migrants and refugees in Australia have sent a letter to Immigration Minister David Coleman questioning the legitimacy of the decision to refuse a Bhutanese family permanent residency on the basis of their son’s disability. Kinley Wangyel Wangchuk, 18, lives with learning disabilities and hearing loss and his family – who have resided in Australia since 2012 – claim that if forced to return to Bhutan, he will face a “world of isolation” due to social stigma and a lack of support... more

Former Manus detainee ‘killed in Vietnam’ after being returned to homeland

SBS News, 16 April

A former Manus Island detainee has reportedly been killed in a stabbing attack in Vietnam after he returned to his home country following a failed bid for asylum. Pham Thanh Son was stabbed outside a karaoke bar and was taken to hospital but later died. The stabbing is under investigation by police. RAC spokesperson Ian Rintoul said Mr Pham spent about five years on Manus Island but was returned to Vietnam in 2017. He said “many, many people” on Manus were now mourning... more

Refugee settlement at Nhill – ten years on

AMES News, 5 April

It’s close to sundown as a small group of people carrying hoes and rakes drift among the garden beds pushing and prodding as they tend the crops. This is the community garden at Nhill, in western Victoria, where at the end of every day a group of Karen-Burmese refugees come to tend the plots where they grow traditional foodstuffs – a long way from the teeming refugee camps of the Thai-Burma border where most of the Karen were born or spent decades of their lives. The garden is part of an extraordinary initiative which has seen the Karen refugees resettle in Nhill... more

Visa privatisation details released right before election

Sydney Morning Herald, 5 April

Home Affairs has kicked off the next stage of the tender process for the controversial privatisation of the visa processing system but has set the closing date for 28 June. Secretary Pezzullo has written to Labor’s immigration spokesman as well as alerting bidders that an incoming government may not continue with the process. Earlier this year Mr Neumann had taken the unusual step of writing to Mr Pezzullo asking that the tender process be put on ice until after the election, as the party stridently opposes the privatisation plan... more

‘Deal with the devil’: Former Nauru president’s deathbed confession

The Age, 17 April

The Nauru president who led the nation when it brokered a deal with the Australian government to re-open the nation’s controversial detention centre, said he felt at least partly responsible for the deaths of asylum seekers there. In an interview on The Project an emotional Sprent Dabwido bared his soul for the world to see. “I can't take full responsibility for it, but I do have my share in it when I allowed this deal to be made,” he said. “I thought I was helping Australia, I thought I was helping the refugees themselves”... more

Have we, Australia, become a country that breeds mass murderers with our words?

The Guardian, 14 April

A speech given at the Palm Sunday Rally for Refugees by Richard Flanagan.
“I have only ever heard Behrouz Boochani’s voice through speakers. One day, he will stand here before us, and we will hear and see him in the flesh. As a free human being. And I am here today to say that day is coming. Because change is coming. You can feel it, you sense it. It is coming and it will not be denied. But it needs us to fight for it and to keep fighting for it, and we need to fight for it, not only for the refugees of Manus Island and Nauru, but for our own salvation"... more

Satire: Dutton: “I manage to live in my electorate, even though I’m missing my soul” 

The Shovel, 14 April

Minister Dutton has continued his attack on opponent Ali France, saying he had no problems finding a place to live in the electorate, despite the fact that he has been missing a soul since childhood.  “I’ve found that the houses in the electorate of Dickson are very well equipped for someone who is missing an important part of their anatomy or personality,” Mr Dutton said. “I own eight houses, so I’m not sure how Ms France can’t even find one”. Mr Dutton is said to have lost his soul in an accident at the police academy, but sources close to Dutton suggest he may not have been born with one... more
Thank you to Janine de la Begassiere, Gillian Duffy, Penny Rivlin, 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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