Buddies Refugee Support Group

SBS News, 20 December

Behrouz Boochani has overstayed his visa in New Zealand, according to at least one official and the man’s lawyer, in a move that could fuel diplomatic tensions with Australia.
    Mr Boochani travelled from PNG on a temporary one-month visa to speak about his book at at the Word Christchurch festival on 29 November. Ben Lomai, a lawyer in PNG who has been acting for Mr Boochani and hundreds of other refugees detained in that country, said that Mr Boochani had not returned to PNG.
    A New Zealand government official, who was not authorised to speak publicly but was in a position to know, said Mr Boochani had remained in Christchurch and had been keeping a low profile since his visa expired. Many people assume he will seek asylum in New Zealand.
    Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has vowed that Mr Boochani will never be allowed to enter Australia, even if New Zealand ends up granting him asylum... more
The Guardian: New Zealand would be honoured to take Behrouz Boochani. Australia be damned
13–14 FEBRUARY 2020

Refugee Alternatives Conference 2020

Refugee Council of Australia and QUT

QUT Gardens Point Campus, Brisbane
An action-packed conference week with speakers and delegates joining us from across Australia, with priority given to speakers from refugee backgrounds. … Register here

For me this city (Christchurch) is a reflection of my life. Everyone who has experienced grave adversity bears the marks both physically and on their soul.

– Behrouz Boochani, author, still now somewhere in NZ, on Twitter

Factsheet: What is the 'legacy caseload'?

Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

The legacy caseload refers to a group of around 30,000 boat arrivals who arrived in Australia between 13 August 2012 and 1 January 2014 during Labor’s term of office, and were barred from making an application for protection for up to four years following their arrival. The succeeding Coalition government termed this group the ‘legacy caseload’ and introduced exceptional legislative restrictions to their eligibility for protection visas… more
Canadians and Aussies are stepping up – if the government won’t resettle Manus and Nauru refugees, we will.

Ads-Up general fundraiser – almost there!


To date $194,400 has been raised towards the $200,000 goal. This particular campaign is specifically directed towards the more than 200 refugees who have been rejected from the US-Australia resettlement deal... more

The total lack of concern or interest in destitute fire refugees in Cobargo that was on show recently gives a tiny insight into how our government has treated other refugees for 6+ years.

– Jane Alcorn, Australian citizen, on Twitter

Dutton calls for turnback of boat spotted off coast of Mallacoota

The Shovel, 3 January

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has asked Australian Border Force to intercept a boat spotted off the coast of Mallacoota in Victoria’s far east.
    The boat – said to be carrying desperate families seeking refuge – was seen travelling down the coast. Mr Dutton said Australia had zero-tolerance for boats entering Australian waters, and indicated the vessel would be sent to Nauru for processing. “We’ll send a navy vessel out to intercept this boat as soon as possible,” he said.
    Mr Dutton said he was unmoved by the stories of desperation. “These people are desperate, they’re trying to save themselves and their families, and they’ve totally run out of other options. So obviously we cannot possibly accept them here,” Mr Dutton said.

Afghan family stay behind and defend Lake Conjola homes from NSW bushfires

ABC News, 3 January

“The destruction here is just like a war zone.” That’s how Zalmai Khatiz described the state of Lake Conjola on the NSW South Coast. He and his family helped neighbours save their homes. Mr Khatiz said he “felt a debt” after moving to Australia from Afghanstan. “Nearly 40 years ago I came here from Afghanistan and Australia gave us a future. Now, I feel like we are in debt to give to other Australians,” Zalmai said. Every year the Khatiz family, from Hornsby, spend New Year’s Eve at their holiday home on the picturesque shores of Lake Conjola. Their home, just 50 metres from the water’s edge, boasts panoramic views of the water... more

Shaminda Kanapahti: As a refugee detained indefinitely by Australia, I wish you a happy new year

The Guardian, 1 January

Each new year people throughout the world hold infinite hope, wishes for a better life, a more fulfilling life. As a refugee indefinitely detained and left in an uncertain limbo as part of Australia’s offshore processing regime, I have been seeing and hoping the new year will fulfil my dreams and wishes for the past seven new years.  But sadly, every year I am disappointed. Each year, my hopes and wishes remain unfulfilled. The unbearable disappointment leaves me weak and vulnerable. For the past six years the continual, agonising pain and sufferings as a refugee and asylum seeker has taken its toll... more

From Nauru to limbo: the anguish of Australia’s last asylum seeker in Cambodia

The Guardian, 29 December

Rohingya Mohammad Roshid says he despairs at being stranded with no support from Australia, the nation that set up his transfer. Mohammed was sent to Cambodia in 2015 in a deal with the Australian government to get out of detention in Nauru, one of only 10 asylum seekers held offshore to do so. The other nine have since managed to leave the country. Only Roshid remains, trapped in a poor country with no possibility of becoming a citizen and no support from the country that promoted his move... more

Biloela Tamil family spend second Christmas in detention limbo

SBS News, 16 December

The asylum-seeker family detained on Christmas Island will remain there for at least two more months ahead of a Federal Court trial. They have been told to get comfortable in detention on Christmas Island, where they remain. Priya and Nades Murugappan and their Australian-born daughters Kopika and Tharunicaa, are fighting federal government attempts to deport the family. They have lready been refused refugee status, but a Federal Court fight hinges on Tharunicaa and her right to apply for protection... more

This is what happened to the Tamil asylum seekers Australia sent back to Sri Lanka

SBS News, 2 December

Anthonippillai Tharshan came to Australia as an asylum seeker in 2012 and was sent back to Sri Lanka after he tried to seek asylum here. Like many others in his situation, he doesn’t want to talk about why he left Sri Lanka – fear of harassment and persecution by security forces is still widespread among Tamils, a decade since the end of the war. But he recalls fondly the two years he spent living and working in regional New South Wales while in community detention. But his relief to be in Australia was short-lived... more

Melbourne council offers refugees and asylum seekers detained in hotel free access to services

ABC News, 24 December

At least 40 men who were brought to Australia under the country’s medevac transfer scheme have been held at the Mantra Hotel in Preston, in Melbourne’s north. Darebin Council has offered the detainees free access to its libraries, leisure centres and sporting clubs. The men, who were in offshore detention, were transferred to Australia for medical treatment. Some of the asylum seekers say they have been there for more than 40 days. The Council says the detainees are residents of its municipality and should have access to its services... more

The government continues the slow torture of refugees, in our name

Sydney Criminal Lawyers, 3 January

With the new year having ticked over, it must be comforting for Liberal National politicians, such as Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton, to begin 2020 knowing that they have offshore detainees exactly where they want them: acting as beacons of an ongoing system of deprivation and inhumanity. The past year had proven problematic for pollies of their ilk, as the passing of the Medevac laws, not only showed a parliament out of step with its government, but the measures also displayed a modicum of compassion, which is not the type of image those governing want to display... more
Thank you to Diana Woolley for her 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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