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Buddies Refugee Support Group

Sydney Morning Herald, 27 June 

These flyers depict Australia’s policy on Illegal Immigration. Much can be learned!” Trump tweeted. Included in the tweet were four Australian government advertisements published by Home Affairs overseas to deter people smugglers and asylum seekers from using boats to travel to Australia.
    “No way,” reads one advert. “You will not make Australia home. The Australian Government has introduced the toughest border protection measures ever.”
    Mr Trump is facing backlash from US Democrats over the conditions migrants are facing on the border with Mexico that has human rights groups and Mr Trump’s opponents calling for billions in humanitarian aid and a rapid change in policy. Critics are appalled that children – the youngest at just four months old – have been separated from their parents at the border and migrants are living in overcrowded, dirty conditions... more
Friday 19 July, 5.30pm
Vigil for refugees still held on Manus and Nauru, Buderim
Saturday 20 July, 2pm
Rally: Six years too long, Brisbane
Sunday 28 July, 11am
Buddies meeting, USC. 11am: Guest speaker followed by members' business – agenda items to Scott Grimmett 0427 364 802. 12.30pm: Refreshments – please bring your own tea/coffee mug. Follow the University signs to Car Park 4. View the map.
Saturday 26 October–Saturday 2 November
National Unity Week
FRIDAY 19 JULY

VIGIL: for refugees still held on Manus and Nauru

5.30 pm, St Mark’s Anglican Church, 7 Main St, Buderim
Same venue as last year, with hospitality to follow. Ceremony begins at 5.30 with the tolling of the bells. Spread the word so that we can continue to witness to the plight of these innocent people... View the poster.
SATURDAY 20 JULY

Six Years Too Long – Close Manus & Nauru

2-4pm, Queens Park, Brisbane CBD 

Hosted by Refugee Action Collective Queensland

Speakers include: Shamindan, Manus refugee from Sri Lanka (via phone). 
   The re-election of the Morrison government is a setback for refugees, but Morrison has no mandate for anti-refugee racism, and his government can and must be fought. We need to take to the streets, now more than ever. … more

The fact that a tyrant like Trump is applauding Australia’s immigration policy tells us all we need to know about its cruelty. The contagion is spreading around the world, and just as on Manus and Nauru it is innocent people who will pay the price with their lives.


– Nick McKim, Greens senator and spokesperson on immigration, on Twitter

LATEST UPDATE: CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN FOR SRI LANKAN FAMILY

Kendall Snowden and Wendy Oakley

Now almost $7500. "I cannot say the words that are in my heart" is Ramesh's response to the amazing generosity of all of you who have contributed.
Please consider donating if you haven't already – no amount too small. More info/donateIf you've already donated please share the Chuffed website with friends.

NEW BOOK: Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs: A frank, up-to-date guide by experts 

Jane McAdam, Fiona Chong

Bringing facts to bear on a highly politicised debate, McAdam and Chong explain why Australia falls short of its own international commitments when it comes to offshore processing, detention and boat turnbacks. This up-to-date account of Australia’s refugee laws and policies could not come at a more crucial time and is compelling reading for anyone seeking to understand the human impacts of Australia’s practices…  more

Refugee Week Film Festival 

Gillian Duffy

The Festival raised a total of $1385. At the finale Staging Post director Jolyon Hoff was presented with $500 for Cisarua Learning Centre, and Refugee Week Ambassador Muzafar Ali was presented with $500 for the Refugee Council of Australia. Buddies has topped up the remaining funds to $500, to be donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Thanks to all the volunteers who worked to make the Festival such a success.

FACTSHEET: Immigration detention in Australia

Kaldor Centre for Refugee Law, UNSW

Australia has a policy of mandatory detention that requires all ‘unlawful non-citizens’ to be held in immigration detention, potentially indefinitely. An unlawful non-citizen must be held in detention until they have been granted a valid visa or they leave the country. As at 31 January, 1269 people were being held in detention.... read in full

Medevac repeal bill not to be debated until November 

Rural Australians for Refugees, 4 July

The Migration Amendment (Repairing Medical Transfers) Bill 2019 was introduced by Peter Dutton today (Thursday) in the House of Representatives. The Bill seeks to repeal the Medevac amendments passed in February and to clarify the Minister’s powers to remove people back to a regional processing country brought to Australia under the Medevac legislation. The Bill has been referred to a Senate Inquiry by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislative Committee which is due to report on 18 October. This means the Senate will not debate the Medevac repeal legislation until the November sitting period.

Coalition accused of ‘cruelty for cruelty’s sake’ over medevac refugees

The Guardian, 1 July

Kristina Keneally says Peter Dutton should not use medical transfers in a punitive fashion. Both Labor and the Greens have voiced concern about 'punitive' and 'cruel' treatment of refugees brought to Australia for medical treatment, after revelations dozens are detained in dirty and restrictive conditions inside a Brisbane hotel. A cohort of refugees had been kept in the hotel, under heavy guard, for up to six months. They shared photographs of bugs in their rooms, and complained about the invasive treatment by Serco security staff... more
 

Some refugees have ‘found their place’ in regional towns but challenges remain

ABC Life, 3 July

A growing number of refugees and asylum seekers are settling in Australia’s regional and remote areas, largely as a result of government policies pushing for regional settlement. A decade ago about one in 10 humanitarian arrivals settled in regional parts of Australia — but in the first three months of 2019, data from the Department of Social Services reveals that figure was up to almost one in four. These regional communities are generally making new arrivals feel welcome, according to recent research... more
 

The little-known visa project bringing highly skilled refugees to Australia

SBS News, 30 June

34-year old Syrian man Derar Alkhateeb is a qualified software engineer, one of five refugees and their families to enter Australia this year on skilled migrant visas under a humanitarian pilot project. Talent Beyond Boundaries – the project behind their recruitment – is a not-for-profit organisation helping connect refugees with employers seeking to fill skill shortages. Many refugee candidates are eligible for regular skilled visas, but many others aren’t due to barriers including a lack of documentation... more
 

Paladin’s security contract to come to an end on Manus Island

Sydney Morning Herald, 26 June

The Australian and PNG governments have signalled the controversial security company Paladin’s contract to provide services to asylum seekers on Manus Island will not be renewed, a day after PNG Prime Minister James Marape called for it to be terminated. Paladin was embroiled in controversy earlier this year after it was revealed the company had won contracts worth $423 million after being given just six days to prepare its initial bid. The company had previously been registered to a beach shack on Kangaroo Island... more
 

Ex-Manus detainee blasts Australia at the UN Human Rights Council

SBS News, 29 June

Sudanese refugee Abdul Aziz Muhamat who was recently granted asylum in Switzerland has delivered a speech at the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council in which he blasted Australia’s offshore policies on Nauru and Manus. “This is a humanitarian crisis that requires urgent action ... Each day it gets worse and worse and I fear for the lives of hundreds of vulnerable people who are stuck in limbo on Manus Island and Nauru,” he said. Edwina MacDonald from Australia’s Human Rights Law Centre said Mr Muhamat’s speech brought the room to a standstill... more
 

Time has come for an amnesty for those suffering on Manus and Nauru

Sydney Morning Herald, 25 June

It is time for us, as a nation, to resolve the issue. We can take up the New Zealand offer, and guarantee the medevac bill. But there is a far more just, efficient and obvious solution: an immediate amnesty, allowing the remaining men and women being warehoused on Manus and Nauru to be settled in Australia. Their numbers are in fact dwindling. RCOA estimates there are about 800 people still held offshore, with some in Port Moresby. The call for an amnesty echoes the sentiments expressed in a multi-faith statement initiated by the National Council of Churches in Australia… more
 
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Kendall Snowden, Margaret Norris and Diana Woolley for their contributions to this edition.
DEADLINE FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: 5pm Wednesday
Please send contributions for the newsletter to the editor. 

EDITOR / PRODUCTION: Wendy Oakley
WEBSITE: Mike Law

FACEBOOK: Anneliese Broadaway
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ABOUT BUDDIES
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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