Buddies Refugee Support Group

ABC News, 21 January

The UN has ruled that states will breach human rights obligations if they return someone to danger due to the climate crisis. The decision is non-binding but could pave the way for more claims from the Pacific.
    The UN ruling was issued after Kiribati man Ioane Teitiota (pictured left) lost his asylum bid to become the world’s first 'climate refugee'. Teitiota made international headlines in 2015 when he challenged his deportation from New Zealand for overstaying his work visa. In doing so, he sought to be the world’s first 'climate refugee'.
    Mr Teitiota had argued a sea-level rise in Kiribati has resulted in “the scarcity of habitable space, which has, in turn, caused violent land disputes” that he said endangered his life, and made it difficult to access safe drinking water.
But New Zealand’s highest three courts all rejected his argument and allowed the deportation to go ahead... more
Refugee Alternatives Conference 2020, Brisbane
Movie: Against our oath, Maleny
Art exhibition by Loretta Manners. Cooroy
Buddies meeting, USC
Art exhibition by Gabby Sutherland, Noosa
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

Film Screening: Against Our Oath

6pm, Verandah Room, Maleny Community Centre

Presented by Welcome to Maleny

Please come along to support us and to learn what health professionals are facing. Acceptances needed as there are a limited number of seats.
Contact Ann Koenig, 0407 138 182 to book.

Refugee focused art exhibition:
Passage into the heart of resilience by Lorissa Manners

Opens 4pm, Cooroy Butter Factory 
Stories of refugee women and women from the Stolen Generation. This is a free event.
Festival program


Guest speaker: Kagi Kowa
Kagi is originally from Sudan and currently works for the ASRC. In her spare time she is an artist (painter). Kagi has offered to share with us some of her journey – both physical and mental / spiritual / cultural.
The guest speaker will be followed by members' business – agenda items to Paul McKinlay 0439 679 588. 12.30pm: refreshments. Follow signs to Car Park 4. View the map.

Refugee focused art exhibition: 
Woven Secrets by Gabby Sutherland

6.30 pm, The J, Noosa
"A legacy and social commentary on a humanitarian crisis faced globally." 
Co-sponsored by SCRAN.

Those who leave everything behind and risk it all to seek safety in Australia are some of the most resilient, courageous people you will ever meet. Our country is enriched by having them in our communities.

– Refugee Council of Australia, on Twitter

Crowdfunding: The Manus and Nauru Medical Transfer Support Fund

As of January 2020 there are roughly 85 people detained in a hotel in Brisbane with very restricted movements and facilities, 40 at BITA and a further 150 in community detention. The Medical Transfer Support Group is a voluntary team of supporters who want to give a small welcome to Medevac transferees. Every cent will go to people in need. $2,095 raised of $5,000... more

Recent donations from Buddies

by Penny Rivlin, Finance Group

Oscar is one of four siblings from Africa, now schooling in Nambour and an athlete to be watched! Supported by one of his teachers he travelled to the School Sport NT athletic event in Darwin in September last year, achieving gold medals in 100m, 800m, and 4x100m relay, and silver in the 200m event, breaking the Queensland record for the 200m run! Buddies is donating $500 towards the considerable expenses needed for uniforms, registration fees and travel. Here’s hoping he can continue his success in the future.

Indooroopilly Uniting Church Refugee Support Group received $500 in November. The group assist with food/hygiene goods, filling in complicated visa applications, dealing with health issues and providing trauma counselling. The group is also a meeting place for friendship and networking. Buddies hopes to continue to give monthly support to help this comprehensive care to continue.

Goodwill Wine: Ten tears after the Black Saturday bushfires, some good news

David Laity lost everything in the Black Saturday bushfires, but with $15,000 from the Red Cross he started Goodwill Wine. Since then he has raised nearly $300,000 for charity, including $20,000 for ASRC and $1490 for Buddies. Want your next bottle of wine to help make the world a better place? Start shopping now at read more

VIDEO SONG: Refugee persecution by the Fair Go country!

by Allan Skien, Bulletin reader

Says Allan: “I just thought you might be interested in this song I wrote and recorded after reading a number of articles by Behrouz and other features in your excellent coverage of the plight of refugees." WATCH
Canadians and Aussies are stepping up – if the government won’t resettle Manus and Nauru refugees, we will.

VIDEO: Watch Amir and Sam enjoying some winter fun with their Canadian sponsor and friend Stephen.  

Join us in bringing more refugees to freedom in Canada.

The Chaser:
Scott Morrison’s
“I stopped the boats” trophy revoked

21 January 2020

1st of your 1,000,000 free articles this month
Scott Morrison has today been stripped of his “I stopped these” boat trophy by his fellow colleagues after the latest Australian figures showed the number of boats off Australia’s coast had quadrupled in the last month.
    “From people fleeing bushfires, to teenage climate activists, to Mosman’s rowing club, to Gold Coast residents heading down to the local shops, it seems like every second person these days is in some form of a boat,” explained the Minister for Dogwhistles Peter Dutton.
    “Thank god Morrison was forced to cut his holiday in Hawaii short, because I have it on good authority his original plan was to return via a 3 week cruise, which would have absolutely decimated our image as tough on boats.”... MORE

‘Australia ruined them’: Asylum seeker ‘torture’ at PNG’s Bomana

RadioNZ, 17 January

Sleep deprivation could be a form of torture being used on asylum seekers detained in PNG’s Bomana prison. Eighteen men remain in the Australian-built immigration detention centre in Port Moresby, where they were locked up in August after seven years on Manus Island. About 30 have been released, malnourished and psychologically broken, after agreeing to return to the countries they fled. Father Giorgio Licini has been providing pastoral care to some of those freed from Bomana. “If you want to torture a little bit these guys – it is a kind of psychological and physical pressure to convince them to sign this document,” he said... more

Leaked photos of PNG prison reveal ‘torture’ of 18 asylum seekers cut off from world

The Guardian, 15 January

Pictures from inside Bomana have given a glimpse of where 18 of the original 53 asylum seekers still remain locked up by PNG authorities, despite widespread concerns for their health, welfare and legal rights. The others have all been removed, having signed agreements to be voluntarily returned to their country of origin. They are being accommodated in Port Moresby ahead of deportation, but none have left, and few are willing to speak about the Bomana prison for fear of being returned. Multiple former detainees have said it was Bomana which broke them... more

A blind refugee with schizophrenia was in detention for the entire 2010s. He just won a huge court case.

Buzzfeed, 14 January

A 36-year-old Tamil refugee and torture survivor who is legally blind, and has schizophrenia and dementia, remains locked up, despite a judge deciding on Christmas Eve that his situation was so absurd it could be likened to Joseph Heller’s famous novel Catch-22. The decision on 24 December could also have huge ramifications for thousands of other refugees in Australia who have been denied visas and indefinitely detained under the controversial 'character' test... more

The Australian musician fighting racist narratives about African migrants

SBS News, 21 January 

Titan Debirioun came to Australia as a four-year-old with no parents. Today he is one of the strongest voices fighting for social justice for his community. Laying down tracks at his home studio in Melbourne, Titan is determined to change the way the country sees colour. His efforts to rewrite the narrative around South Sudanese refugee communities in Melbourne have earned him the title of a social justice advocate. “I have a few different hustles, two or three day jobs at any one time,” he says in his interview... more

Ocean 12 asylum-seeker cricket team embrace sport in Australia to ‘forget past life’

ABC Radio Sydney, 4 January

This champion Sydney suburban cricket team was named after the boat journey its players made in 2012 from Sri Lanka. Cricket is a welcome distraction for the players who have temporary visas and have not been granted refugee status. Ocean 12 was founded by Noeline Nagle, a retired sports teacher, who volunteered with the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group by visiting single men in both the community and Villawood Detention Centre... more

"Hope is a complicated concept": an interview with Behrouz Boochani

LA Review of Books, 18 January

Behrouz Boochani seems shy, occasionally distant, until the right question is asked. Then his attention sharpens into intensity, his self-containment brightened by rising feeling and sudden gesture. He appears to be sensitive, but never nervous. We met at a hotel café in central Christchurch, New Zealand, where his eyes creased as he announced that he wanted to “try all of the coffees,” having been deprived of quality and variety in that area for so long. He spoke about his release, the power of journalism, and his love of classical music... more

We owe Australia a lot’: Refugee community donates $160,000 to bushfire relief

SBS Dari, 21 January

Victoria’s Hazara community has donated almost $160,000 to the state’s bushfire relief efforts and offered up its members who have tradie skills to help rebuild communities hit by the devastating fires. A small refugee community in Victoria that has itself experienced the pain of losing everything, they have dug deep for their ‘brothers and sisters’ in the bushfire-ravaged areas of the state. Community leaders and businessmen presented $133,477 to Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, and $22,543 to the CFA... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Ann Koenig, Paul McKinlay, Penny Rivlin, Allan Skein 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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