Buddies Refugee Support Group
In his research with focus groups in 2016, Melbourne University academic Dr Denis Muller said fear of the “Islamisation” of Australia had been found to be the main driver of negative attitudes to asylum seekers. He said racism had been a significant driver of negative attitudes for decades and the focus on religion was a “historic shift”.
       He said a commonly held view was that Islam is seen as inseparable from the threat of terrorism, and that there was a prevalent assumption among participants that most, if not all, asylum seekers were Muslim.
     “In the public mind there’s a kind of syllogism that says, ‘Islamists are terrorists, asylum seekers are Islamists and therefore asylum seekers are terrorists’.”
     Dr Muller said the participants, who ranged in age, gender and socioeconomic status, came to their views about asylum seekers based on information from the media, politicians and through word of mouth... more
Saturday 23 March, 10am–3pm
Harmony Day, Maroochydore

Sunday 24 March, 11am
Buddies meeting, 24 King St, Buderim. 11am: Members' business – agenda items to Scott Grimmett 0427 364 802. 11.45am: Guest speaker: Rahila Haidary. 12.30pm: Refreshments.
Saturday 30 March
Learn English Holiday orientation morning, Buderim
Sunday 7 – Friday 12 April
Learn English Holiday, Buderim
Monday 8 April, 12 noon
Law Out Loud seminar, Sippy Downs
Sunday 14 April
Palm Sunday rally and march, Brisbane
Sunday 28 April, 8am
Bunnings Sausage Sizzle, Noosaville

Harmony Day 2019

10am–3pm, Cotton Tree Park, Maroochydore
The Sunshine Coast Voices of Harmony event will create a ‘global village’ for the community to connect through song, story, dance, food, traditional games, activities and customs. SCRAN will have a stall with Buddies – we now have plenty of volunteers for the stall, so just come along and enjoy the day. View the flyer and view the Harmony Day song.

Guest speaker at this Sunday's meeting

This year Afghani-Australian Rahila Haidairy will launch Afsana, her social enterprise to economically empower women in Afghanistan; and launch Youth-Led Inc, an innovative NGO to offer support and funding to other young Australians. Rahila is an advocate for education and female empowerment and an inspiring story-teller!... read more about Rahila.

Learn English Holiday program – April teachers’ training/orientation morning

9.30am, Matthew Flinders Anglican College
For anyone interested in helping at our April program. We will meet in the College Chapel, check out the rooms we’re going to use and go over the week's program so that you can work out how best you can help. You are free to come and go over the course of the program. For more info, or if you are interested but can’t come that morning, please email your interest to Margaret Norris or  Lesley Willcoxson.

Learn English Holiday

Matthew Flinders Anglican College
The LEH program comprises six days on the Sunshine Coast – accommodation free with Buddies Homestay – and five days of English classes with outings to beach and local attractions.
For information on hosting and/or driving support, contact Kayla at

Law out loud! international law seminar – Enslavement as a crime against humanity

12 noon, University of the Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre
Some doctrinal, historical and theoretical considerations, presented by Dr Edwin Bikundo, Griffith University

Bunnings sausage sizzle

8am–4pm, Bunnings Noosaville
Bunnings sausage sizzles are a great fundraiser for Buddies. Come along and enjoy a sausage and a chat.

Australia is producing and exporting violence overseas. First they exported violence to Manus and Nauru and now to New Zealand. The  critical issue is this: why is a liberal democracy like Australia exporting violence?

– Behrouz Boochani, journalist and Manus detainee, on Twitter

PETITION: Remove Fraser Anning from parliament

1.4 million have signed! Senator Anning’s views have no place in the government of our democratic and multicultural country. Within the bounds of Australian law, we request that he be pushed to resign from his position and if appropriate be investigated by law enforcement agencies for supporting right wing terrorism… SIGN

PETITION: Ch7 – cancel Pauline Hanson now


For years, Channel 7’s Sunrise has given one of Australia’s most prominent racists an unrivaled weekly platform to broadcast her hate-filled, Islamophobic views. In pursuing ratings, clicks and profit, Channel 7 gave her the platform from which she re-launched her political career. The media industry needs to take responsibility for helping spread hatred, bigotry, and violence… SIGN


The Romero Centre is out of stock of some food items (view the list). Your help, no matter how small, is most appreciated. More info and drop off points can be viewed here. Thank you!

WANTED: Volunteer hosts &/or drivers for the Buddies Learn English Holiday program

Matthew Flinders Anglican College, 7–12 April
Six days on the Sunshine Coast – accommodation free with Buddies Homestay – and five days of English classes with outings to beach and local attractions.
For information on hosting and/or driving support, contact Kayla

CROWDFUNDING: Help release independent documentary Against Our Oath

Ethical conflicts erupt for doctors as the government overrides their clinical decisions for refugees. What happens to their medical ethics? This documentary exposes a medical system where the best interest of refugee patients is not at play and doctors fight back against this. After 4 years filming, award-winning filmmaker Heather Kirkpatrick only needs to pay for post-production now... more

Ask Canada to take Manus, Nauru refugees – lawyer

RadioNZ, 12 July 2018

Canada should be asked to resettle refugees exiled by Australia that cannnot enter the US, PNG lawyer Ben Lomai says. The US has banned migrants from five majority muslim countries. About half of Australia’s exiles come from those nations. Ben Lomai, who represents Manus Island refugees, said Canada continued to accept refugees from countries banned by the US and should be approached. “Prime minister for Canada has put his hand up to get asylum seekers from those countries that are rejected by the US,” Dr Lomai said... more

Dutton says the “boats have stopped” but his own department’s data shows that isn’t entirely true

Buzzfeed, 14 January

The home affairs minister claims the “boats will restart” if Labor wins the upcoming federal election, and has claimed that the “boats have stopped” since the Coalition came into government. While the number of boats attempting to get to Australia has declined over the past five years, the government’s own data provided to a Senate committee in December revealed that boats are still attempting to get to Australia and are being turned back or taken to their country of origin by OSB... more

Australia pays Indonesia to detain refugees

Green Left, 15 March

A spokesman from the Refugee Council of Australia says the Australian government has been paying the Indonesian government to detain people. It also funds the International Organisation for Migration for community housing, but these payments have recently been reduced. Australia funds the Indonesian police to intercept refugees suspected of planning to come to Australia, and also funds the 'voluntary return' of refugees to the countries from which they fled... more

Refugee surgeon who landed on Christmas Island in the 1990s slams PM’s reopening plan

SBS News, 7 March

A refugee who has become one of the country’s leading orthopaedic surgeons has a message for Scott Morrison. “I don’t think Christmas Island in the current state is equipped to be a medical evacuation centre. It’s very small, the facilities are very basic,” Dr Munjed Al Muderis has said. “It’s not a place where people can be referred to, it’s a place where you can transfer patients over to the mainland or offshore”... more

Australia provided fertile ground for Islamophobic culture, experts say

Washington Post, 15 March

Shortly after the Friday shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that the primary suspect was an Australian citizen and denounced him as a right-wing “terrorist.” Authorities in New Zealand arrested a suspect and charged him with murder. In a manifesto published online before the attack, the alleged gunman describes himself as “an ordinary white man, 28 years old". Some experts say that anti-Muslim rhetoric has been normalized by mainstream right-wing news outlets, many of which are owned by billionaire Rupert Murdoch.... more

Islamophobia is practically enshrined as public policy in Australia

The Guardian, 17 March

Appropriately, the Christchurch shooting has started a process of deep reflection in Australia. Everywhere, decent Australians are asking, how did we get here? Do we own him (the perpetrator)? There has been extensive, international discussion about the role of the online subculture of the far right in these events – the codes, memes and signals of internet-mediated white supremacy. There’s been less reflection on the fact that any 28-year-old in Australia has grown up in a period when racism, xenophobia and a hostility to Muslims in particular, were quickly ratcheting up in the country’s public culture... more

It’s not tribalism, refugee fearmongering is Gov policy

ScoopNZ, 19 March

Press Release: from the Refugee Action Coalition. The PM is only trying to cover up the reality of government policy by suggesting that “tribalism” is dividing Australia. “Division” is official government policy. The Prime Minister, the Home Affairs Minister, and now Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds on Q&A have all suggested that the Medivac Bill should be opposed because refugees in Australia’s offshore prisons are a supposed threat to Australian society. “Without evidence, all of them have suggested that there are potential terrorists, pedophiles, criminals among the refugees held in offshore detention,” said Ian Rintoul... more

SEQ faith leaders united in prayer for Christchurch victims

Anglican Focus, 17 March

Christian, Muslim, Jewish and other faith leaders united in prayer on Sunday, along with over 6,000 community members, at a prayer service at the Islamic College of Brisbane for the Christchurch mosque attack victims, their families, and the New Zealand and Australian Muslim communities. Bishop for the Southern Region, The Right Rev’d John Roundhill, said that he was filled with hope by the large number of attendees who came together, with two large halls packed with people and hundreds more spilling out onto the pavement. A number of high-profile political and community leaders spoke, including the Queensland Premier... more

Why Waleed Aly’s words stung the PM and what it means for the 2019 federal election

New Daily 18 March

There will be no Tampa 2.0 election in 2019. Shorten has not been asked a single question about the medical evacuation legislation in weeks. Predictions of hordes of asylum seekers arriving have not yet materialised. The old culture wars are not cutting through as they once did. And now the horror of the Christchurch massacre is powerfully reshaping the political landscape. The PM, his ministers and his staff know it and it’s one of the reasons they called The Project to complain about Waleed Aly’s powerful editorial (see above) that has been watched 12 million times... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Angela Mercuri, Margaret Norris, Penny Rivlin, Kendall Snowden, Bill Stanford, Kayla Szumer, 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, 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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