Buddies Refugee Support Group

The Guardian, 18 June

Tharunicaa’s family has spent 15 months in detention since being arrested at their home in Biloela. It was her second birthday inside the Melbourne detention centre and the second time visitors were blocked from bringing in a cake to celebrate, despite her father Nades going through the required rigorous application process, including submitting a “special purpose food and/or medication request” to Border Force.
    The form stipulated the conditions for a cake, including that it had to be consumed in the visits area and could “only be shared with the detainee for which the visit has been approved”. It could not be taken back to detainees’ accommodation, and any leftovers had to be thrown out.
     “Honestly, are we now at the point of denying a two-year-old a birthday cake?” said shadow immigration minister Kristina Keneally... more

Saturday 15–Saturday 22 June
Refugee Week Sunshine Coast Community Film Festival
Friday 21 June, 3pm
'Fire, film and fun' followed by film Constance on the edge, Nambour
Saturday 22 June, 5.30pm
'Meet Mustafa' followed by film night finale The Staging Post, USC
Sunday 23 June, 11am
Buddies meeting, USC. 11am: Guest speaker Linda Dennis, followed by members' business – agenda items to Scott Grimmett 0427 364 802. 12.30pm: Refreshments.
​The Refugee Week Film Festival has been a big success so far with full houses and good audience participation in the Q&A sessions. A huge "thank you" to all the volunteers who have made this possible. While the Film Festival is primarily to raise community awareness, funds raised throughout the week will be donated to the Refugee Council of Australia, Cisarua Learning Centre and ASRC. A full report will be in next week's Bulletin.

Free community event: Fire, film & fun

3pm, Nambour Community Centre
2 Shearer St, Nambour

Wrap up warm and bring your friends, fam and neighbours to celebrate community with us. 3–6pm: smoking ceremony, free wood fired pizza, hot chocy, soup, sausage sizzle, music and dance, fire show and kids' activities. View the poster

FILM NIGHT: Constance on the edge

6.30pm, Nambour Community Centre
An unflinchingly honest portrayal of one refugee family’s resettlement story in Australia. Guest speaker: Elijah Buol (Australian of the Year, Qld Local Hero), advocate for refugees & young people. Light supper provided, donations welcome on the night to meet our costs. Book here.

Meet Staging Post star Muzafa Ali

5.30pm, Red Rose Café, Building C, USC, Sippy Downs campus (view map)
Come and meet Muzafar Ali, Refugee Week advocate and star of The Staging Post, with his wife Nagina and their children for afternoon tea. The 'pop-up' café will be serving refreshments prior to the free screening of The Staging Post at 6pm. About Muzafar 

Refugee Week finale: The Staging Post

6pm, University of the Sunshine Coast
The film follows two Afghan Hazara refugees in Indonesia, who started a school and inspired a refugee education revolution. Film director Jolyon Hoff and Refugee Week ambassador Muzafar Ali will lead a discussion and Q&A session after the film.
More information and bookings

Guest speaker at our next monthly meeting

11am, University of the Sunshine Coast
We welcome Linda Dennis from the Sunshine Coast Migrant Settlement Program, based at Nambour Community Centre. The program supports permanent residents who have arrived in the last 5 years as refugees, humanitarian entrants or family stream migrants who now live on the Coast. If you have ever wondered where how many, or where refugees live here, Linda will be sharing her experiences.


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
From now on our monthly meetings will be held at University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), BUILDING E, ROOM 14. Free parking on weekends. 

For the record I’m against children getting birthday cake in detention because

– Jarrod McKenna, peace award winning pastor, on Twitter


Kendall Snowden

A million thanks to all those generous people who have already donated to help Viji and Ramesh. An extra special thank you to the two people who have each donated $500 – your generosity has been exceptional! We have already raised almost $4000 towards our goal of $12,000. 
Please consider donating if you haven't already – no amount too small! More info/donate.

New book: Mark Isaacs: The Kabul Peace House

After decades of conflict, few Afghans remember what it is like to live without war, yet a group of young Afghans have come together – led by a charismatic and idealistic man called Insaan – to form a community devoted to peace. A story of hope and resilience in a country constantly under siege from within and without. Mark was a guest speaker at the last Buddies USC forum in 2014.
About the authorE-book Hard copy

FACTSHEET: Climate change, disasters and displacement

Kaldor Centre for Refugee Law, UNSW

Today many more people are displaced by disasters and climate change than by conflict and violence. But people fleeing persecution, conflict or violence can seek asylum under the 1951 Refugee Convention; in contrast, no international legal framework protects those fleeing environmental peril… READ MORE

Refugee compensation could prompt Manus Island exit – lawyer

Radio NZ, 14 June

Manus Island refugees could escape Papua New Guinea once they’re awarded compensation by its courts, their lawyer Ben Lomai says. But he said there was also a chance they could end up in Nauru. The PNG Supreme court ruled in 2016 the refugees were wrongfully imprisoned and Dr Lomai said the judiciary would have to award damages that could run into hundreds of millions of dollars. The lawyer has filed proceedings in the National Court for compensation from the PNG state through 645 writs of summons signed by refugees currently and formerly detained on Manus by Australia... more

Federal Government under mounting pressure to resettle Manus Island and Nauru refugees

ABC News, 17 June

Peter Dutton says he wants people off Manus and Nauru but has yet to outline a plan. Expect to hear more noise from the crossbench when Parliament resumes, as pressure ramps up on the Government. Mr Dutton said he was determined to find new homes for around 800 people that remain on the two islands. The Government is being urged to take up New Zealand’s resettlement offer. Just over 530 people have already been sent to the US under the resettlement deal, but Dutton said the US would not be taking as many people as originally expected... more

Sri Lankan refugee in ‘hellish’ conditions on Manus Island appeals to settle in UK

The Guardian, 12 June

A refugee and torture survivor who has been incarcerated on Manus since 2013 has appealed to be allowed to join his sister in the UK. In the first case of its kind, Thiraviyarajah Subramaniyam, 37, a Tamil from Sri Lanka, appealed in the UK immigration tribunal on Tuesday against a Home Office refusal to allow him family resettlement in the UK. He is suffering from serious mental health problems as a result of torture he experienced in his home country followed by years of detention. He is currently in the East Lorengau Transit Centre on Manus... more

No asylum seekers on Christmas Island despite $185m reopening of centre

9 News, 16 June

Peter Dutton doesn’t know whether any of the murderers and rapists he repeatedly warned would come to Australia under refugee medical evacuation laws have in fact come. Just over 30 asylum seekers have been transported to Australia under the laws that passed parliament in February against the government’s wishes. None have gone to Christmas Island, where the government reopened a detention centre with much fanfare and a $185 million price tag to cope with the flood of sick asylum seekers it asserted would arrive... more

US rejects 300 refugees from Manus and Nauru

Sydney Morning Herald, 16 June

The US has rejected more than 300 refugees under the Australia-US refugee deal, leaving the men in Australia’s offshore processing centres. Peter Dutton said the target of resettling 1250 refugees was not going to be met, hampering the Coalition’s goal of closing down the detention centres. “I don’t think we’ll get there,” he said. “The US will make decisions about who they will bring under their migration program.” 95 people have withdrawn from consideration or rejected an offer, 295 are in the pipeline for approval and 531 have been re-settled... more

Tampa refugee taken in by New Zealand wins Fulbright scholarship

The Guardian, 18 June

One of the asylum seekers the Norwegian cargo ship Tampa rescued in 2001 has won a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to undertake postgraduate studies in the US. Abbas Nazari was seven when his family boarded a fishing boat from Indonesia to Australia. He was one of more than 430 people, predominantly of the ethnic minority Hazaras of Afghanistan, who were caught up in an international standoff when the boat foundered, and many analysts believe the Tampa affair helped John Howard retain government. Ultimately it was New Zealand which gave Nazari’s family a chance to start a new life... more

How did Mike Pezzullo become Australia’s most powerful bureaucrat?

The Guardian, 15 June

Home affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo is seen as a Dutton loyalist; he’s also been a Labor staffer and is considered a fiercely independent mandarin. So who’s the real Mike? People who know Pezzullo well describe him as a tough-minded workaholic, a pushy patriot long obsessed with defence and security issues. Some bureaucratic colleagues disapprove of Pezzullo’s high profile – one former department head who declines to be named believes senior public servants shouldn’t cultivate their own brands... more
Thank you to Janine de la Begassiere, Gillian Duffy, Scott Grimmett 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, 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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