Buddies Refugee Support Group

Shaminda Kanapathi, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 September

"It was the day I’d desperately been awaiting for six years: the day I would leave Manus Island, never to return.
   "On Thursday, it happened. I was among 35 men, most of the remaining asylum seekers on Manus Island, moved by plane to Port Moresby. Fifteen men are left behind on Manus.
But those of us who have left, still do not know what our future holds. We have left Manus to go to... nowhere.
     "The Australian government and PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority had sent us a “refugee notification”, offering the transfer to Port Moresby. It said “relocation is not permanent settlement” in PNG. It reassured us we will not be subject to detention by the ICA.
     "For now we have been taken to a Port Moresby hotel, Granville, but we don’t know where we will go next"... more
Friday 13 September – 8 November, 9am
Migrants Work Ready training, Maroochydore
Saturday 14 September, 12.30pm
Rally for permanent protection for refugees, Brisbane
Saturday 21 September, 10am–6pm
Festuri annual multicultural festival, Maroochydore
Sunday 22 September
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

Migrants Work Ready training

9am–12 noon, Solbar, Ocean St Maroochydore 
In partnership with Sunshine Coast Council and other partners, this is a great opportunity for migrants who are ready for work to get extra training to understand the Australian workplace and to network with people who can help get a 'foot in the door'. See the attached flyer for more info and register on the address provided if interested.

Rally for permanent protection for refugees

Refugee Action Collective Qld

12:30pm, King George Square, Brisbane
Join refugees stuck in limbo on TPVs and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas, as well as those refused asylum under the Coalition’s unfair process. Organised by asylum seekers on Temporary Protection or Bridging Visas and part of a National Day of Action called by Justice for Refugees... more


10am–6pm, Cotton Tree Park, Maroochydore 
SCRAN will have a stall at Festuri with information about Buddies, W2M etc, petitions and an activity. We aim to have 3 or more at a time manning the stall from 9am to 5pm in approx 2 hour shifts. If you would like to volunteer, even if you can only spare half an hour, please apply HERE
View the brochure.

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!
11am, University of the Sunshine Coast

Members' business – agenda items to Paul McKinlay 0439 679 588.
There will be no guest speaker this month.
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
If you’re interested in participating this year as a homestay host, volunteer driver or in any other volunteer position, please email

If you give it a go...
…we’ll deport you with vindictive cruelty.

– Mike Carlton, journalist, on Twitter

STILL NEEDED… homestay hosts, classroom volunteers!

September 22-27 Learn English Holiday program: 57 refugees from 11 different countries would like to take part, but will we have enough homestay hosts and classroom volunteers? Hosting or helping in the classroom is likely to be one of the really rewarding experiences of your life! If you'd like to open your home for a week to one or more of our refugee guests, please contact Tayla Bostock. If you'd like to help in the classroom, contact Lesley Willcoxson.

Tamil family to stay on Christmas Island after deportation case delayed

The Guardian, 6 September

The Biloela family will remain on Christmas Island for at least the foreseeable future after a federal court hearing to determine whether they would be deported to Sri Lanka was delayed until 18 September. The family was sent to Christmas Island after the court granted an injunction preventing the government deporting Tharunicaa until the court application had been heard. The case centred around the fact that until this week the government had not considered whether Tharunicaa was owed protection under Australia’s international obligations... more

Manus Island refugee processing is coming to an end — but what happens now?

ABC News, 11 September

After six years, Australia’s asylum seeker processing on Manus is coming to an end as the refugees held there are transferred to Port Moresby and are currently being housed in hotels around the city. ‘Non-refugees’ are being kept in a new Australian-funded detention centre. Fewer than 350 remain in the country, the vast majority now in the capital Port Moresby. The PNG Government said it was a “positive and significant step”, but some people, including the Governor of Manus, have raised concerns... more

Manus and Nauru refugees in Australia on medical grounds can apply for US move

The Guardian, 6 September

Refugees previously detained on Manus or Nauru but now in Australia can apply for US resettlement. The “significant” shift, revealed in an immigration document, suggests the US could eventually reach its 1250 cap on cases. Refugees will have until 20 September to apply, in what Amnesty International describes as a significant ‘game changer’. In an information notice from the US refugee admissions program (USRAP), the US government has said it plans to finish all initial interviews with refugees on Nauru and Manus Island by 20 December... more

States step up funding for asylum seekers after federal cuts hit visa holders

SBS News, 10 September

Asylum seeker support services have welcomed a $3 million funding commitment from the Victorian government for people on bridging visas who have been cut off from federal government payments. They are hoping other state governments will follow Victoria’s lead and allocate extra funding for people on temporary visas hit by cuts to federal government support payments. Thousands of asylum seekers who arrived by boat before 2014 lost access to federal income support payments after the government tightened eligibility requirements in 2017... more

Legal experts question fast-track process that refused Biloela Tamil family’s claim

The Guardian, 6 September

Experts have raised concerns over the “inferior” fast-track assessment process which saw members of the Tamil family refused protection. It has been repeatedly noted that the family have been found not to be refugees, and that Australian courts have held that. However academics say this is a misrepresentation of the legal process. Researchers at UTS faculty of law found the Immigration Assessment Authority refused to find a person to be a refugee in about 87% of cases. “The high rates of rejection are concerning”, lecturer Sarah Dehm said… more

Kristina Keneally: Peter Dutton has manipulated the truth so much, how can Australians trust him?

The Guardian, 25 June

The home affairs minister has so regularly been caught crying wolf, what will happen when we face a serious risk to our national security? What worries me deeply is the frequency and ferocity with which Peter Dutton, has been caught out. This is a man who holds one of the most powerful positions in Scott Morrison’s cabinet. What’s more, Dutton has a key leadership role when it comes to keeping our nation safe and is responsible for a department with more than 23,000 public servants across multiple security, intelligence and immigration and border protection agencies. But how can Australians believe a minister who routinely manipulates, misrepresents and mischaracterises the truth for political gain, as Dutton does?... more

Cruelties unconfined: Humanising refugees and the Biloela Tamil family

Independent Australia, 7 September

The Tamil family from Biloela have humanised the plight of refugees being treated inhumanely by our Government. It’s been easier for the Government to punish refugees until now, when a family has put human faces to their struggle. The latest refugee drama to be added to the annals of 'Fortress Australia' centres on the plight of a Sri Lankan family who have been subjected to the coldest of institutional reactions. Most Australians will struggle with the names, but they have found their way into popular circulation through abbreviated form. 
The family’s credentials as refugees have been impeccable from a political and ethical perspective, though the local judicial authorities in Australia right up to the High Court have thought otherwise. More the pity... more
Thank you to Tayla Bostock, Dominique Cisse, 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, 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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