Buddies Refugee Support Group
Angela Fredericks from Home to Bilo, and Tharnicaa's mother Priya Murugappan in Perth
ABC NEWS, 23 JUNE 2021
The Murugappan family have been issued 3-month bridging visas that will allow them to work and study on the mainland. They will remain in Perth for the duration of their visas. The decision comes after the family was recently moved into community detention in Perth, where youngest child Tharnicaa has been receiving medical treatment.
    “This decision allows three members of the family to reside in the Perth community while the youngest child’s medical care, and the family’s legal matters, are ongoing,” Minister Alex Hawke said. “The fourth family member’s visa status is unchanged. The family will continue to have access to health care, support services, housing and schooling in the Perth community.”
    Family friend Angela Fredericks questioned why Tharnicaa had not also been granted a visa, saying it meant the family could not leave Perth. "We welcome Priya, Nades, and Kopika being granted bridging visas, but we wonder what precisely is the minister's objective in denying little Tharni one," she said... more
CNN: She was born in Australia, but the country wants to send her back to alleged war criminals
Mama Mia: Priya watched as her fiancé, and five other men, were burned alive. Let's not forget the lives the Biloela family fled from

Independent Australia: Abul Rizvi: The Morrison Government's three big furphies on the Biloela family
The Guardian: The people of Biloela v the Government
SBS: How two Queensland born girls became unlikely symbols of Australia's immigration policy

Weekly Protest: End temporary visas

12 noon–1 pm, Department of Home Affairs, 299 Adelaide Street, Brisbane CBD
Asylum seekers and refugees are fighting for an end to temporary visas and to be granted permanent visas. Please come along and support this RACQ campaign as they share their histories and raise awareness about the torturous and inhumane effects of temporary visas on their lives... more

Buddies Annual General Meeting

11am, ‘Connections on King’, 2-10 Gloucester St, Buderim
The Buddies AGM is coming soon, to be held as part of the regular general meeting. Hear an inspiring guest speaker (to be announced), then if you want, take part in voting for Buddies directors and Finance Committee members. Now is the time to start thinking of who you’d like to nominate for these positions.

Buddies bi-monthly general meetings – dates for 2021-22

2021: 29 August AGM, 31 October and 5 December
2022: 27 February, 24 April, 26 June, 28 August, 30 October and 4 December.

It’s no answer to the calculated cruelty inflicted on Tharnicaa & family for the Govt to claim a humanitarian high-ground – 'saving lives at sea’ – with a policy destroying lives on land.

– David Manne, human rights lawyer/advocate, on Twitter


Home to Bilo

New Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce wants to bring Priya, Nades & the girls home to Biloela. Now, your respectful calls and e-mails have more power than ever. To phone CLICK HERE or to email CLICK HERE to ask your MP or Senators to get this family Home To Bilo now.


Len Mangan

On Wednesday 16th people arrived at St Marks Anglican Church Buderim to show support for the Biloela Family & for those strong stubborn people in Biloela who just won’t give up on their family. There were a few pedestrians and a steady stream of traffic – we received a few 'tut tut' looks, shakes of the head and one fellow shouted “send them back they’re terrorists”, but all that was overwhelmingly drowned out by the support expressed in horn blowing, thumbs up, mile wide smiles, shouts of encouragement & people stopping to offer verbal & financial support... Full report

Send Sahar to safety

Welcome to Maleny

W2M’s latest project is really special and could completely change the life of one person, Sahar, a young single female Hazara refugee from Afghanistan. Stuck indefinitely in Indonesia without any family support or access to basic human rights, Sahar also has no chance of being resettled in Australia. Now Welcome to Maleny is helping Sahar with her application for sponsorship to Canada but we need the help of our local communities... READ MORE


Len Mangan

A refugee in the Nambour area is looking for an apprenticeship as an electrician. Can someone provide this opportunity, or know of contacts who could help.
   If so please contact Len on (07) 5494 9965 or mobile 0419 664 524.

MEMBERSHIP REMINDER: Calling all members and new members-to-be

MEMBERSHIP is now due (July 21 – June 22)
    Your membership of $10/pa goes a long way in covering our liability insurance (essential for us to operate as a not-for-profit organisation) – and then any extra donations and funds raised can go directly towards helping refugees. NB: Membership for monthly donors is automatically renewed.

Recycling for refugees

Lynda Utting

It requires very little effort to start collecting eligible glass & plastic bottles and aluminium cans and then depositing them at one of the many approved recycling centres: Containers for Change or Envirobank Recycling.  Check online to locate your nearest drop-off centre.
    All eligible items are refunded 10 cents each and the total refund can then be easily transferred to Buddies to go straight to assisting refugees living in the community. You will need to quote the scheme number C10181760.


NB: The latest edition of the Bulletin is always available on the Buddies website home page.
All Bulletins back as far as April 2015 can be accessed from the Bulletin archive page

Australia and NZ refugee talks still futile

TVNZ, 20 June

As the world marks World Refugee Day 2021, Australia and New Zealand continue to wallow in talks around the offer to take 150 refugees a year from Australia’s detention centres, on the table since 2013.
    A recent push by the likes of Behrouz Boochani and Sonny Bill Williams during Scott Morrison’s May visit to New Zealand saw politicians questioned about the offer. Earlier this month Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews told radio station 4BC they were working with New Zealand to possibly resettle the remaining people Medevac detainees.
    She said there was a couple of hundred people and “we’re doing all that we can to work through resettlement options for them”... more

Bruce Haigh: A family of dignity, strength and humility from Biloela holds a mirror to unconscionable government behaviour

Pearl and Irritations, 14 June

In the first instance they fled a Sinhalese regime wrecking genocide upon a hated Tamil minority who had dared to fight for their freedom from oppression. The instruments of genocide were torture, rape, murder and confiscation of homes and the means of livelihood. Priya had endured the multiple raping of her mother and the bashing and blinding of her father by Sinhalese members of the occupying force
    When they had a right to expect succour after all they had been through, the family received cruel punishment in Australia. Initially they found protection and kindness with the caring community of Biloela... more

Beyond detention: What is Australia doing about resettling refugees overseas?

SBS News, 20 June

Resettling refugees in other countries is not working, nor is it fair. So, why is Australia doing it?
    The federal government has scrambled in recent days to minimise the political fallout from its treatment of the Tamil family from Biloela. All this talk has caused much confusion, and sparked questions around what Canberra is doing to resolve the plight of other displaced people to whom it has refused entry — namely, the hundreds of refugees who have been held for years in Australia’s system of offshore processing... more

‘Who’s going to keep the peace?’ Afghans in Australia fear chaos and violence when foreign forces leave

The Guardian, 5 May

When Australia announced it would withdraw all military personnel from Afghanistan, Farkhondeh Akbari’s dream died a little.
“For me and my generation in the diaspora, some of us have been hoping to return back to Afghanistan, our homeland,” the ANU PhD candidate says.
    But the decision by US president Joe Biden to pull US troops out by September, meaning Australia will also leave, leaves her fearing her home country will be further beset by violence and instability... more

Why do Tamil asylum seekers need protection – and why does the Government say they don’t?

SBS News, 16 June

Australia has a special security relationship with Sri Lanka that can’t help but affect its response to Tamil persecution and asylum seekers.
    The Murugappans have been trying to stay in Australia for the best part of a decade, through multiple appeals. All the while, Sri Lanka has one of the worst records of state-perpetrated violence against civilians in the early 21st century. This year the UN Human Rights Office published a damning report on the deteriorating human rights situation there... more

Publicity and Exploitation: Fortress Australia and the Family from Biloela

Counterpunch, 17 june

Australian officials and paper mad types are running out of ideas as to how to be cruel towards refugees.  We need to give them some credit: for years they have tried to do what most autocratic and murderous regimes do in a heartbeat: ignore international law, treat it with disdain and use those feeble excuses in the service of sovereignty.
    As with any system of harm and torture, the justifiers cite a hard form of kindness to prolong the depravity of their conduct. The drivel of humanitarian falseness abounds: We need to prevent people from drowning.  We hate seeing children perish. So, lock them up... more 

Behrouz Boochani: The Murugappan family and immigration detention

Saturday Paper, 19 June

The decision to transfer one of the daughters of the Murugappan family to Perth Children’s Hospital sent shock waves across Australia and abroad. Growing public pressure forced the Australian government to release the whole family into Perth community detention.
    Many may see the plight of the Murugappan family as an isolated case, but I look at it as an embodiment of the multidimensional nature of Australia’s detention system. In fact, the story of this family is a symbol of the thousands of lives shattered by this system. The refugee policy championed by the government of Australia has been structured around the principles of ruthlessness and systemic violence... more
Thank you to Robert Kann, Len Mangan, Gaynore Stoessel, Lynda Utting and Diana Woolley for their contributions to this edition.
Please send contributions for the newsletter to the editor. 

WEBSITE: Wendy Oakley

FACEBOOK: Anneliese Broadaway
Buddies is an independent community group based on the Sunshine Coast 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.
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 
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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