Syrian refugees languish on Nauru 

Lenore Taylor, The Guardian, 25 September 2015

There are 12 Syrians on Nauru, and all have fled the same conflict as the 12,000 to be welcomed to Australia. But they will remain in a hellish limbo.
   When Australians saw the faces of Syrians fleeing from the war into Europe we insisted our government act. And for a fleeting moment last week it sounded as though the new PM was listening to the plight of those we lock up, far away, to achieve our bipartisan policy aims – refugees fleeing exactly the same conflict for exactly the same reasons as the ones we are welcoming.
   But by day’s end he was back on the smuggler-deterring script. He would look for “other options” he said, a daunting task in a world facing an overwhelming crisis of refugees.
Monday 12 October, 3pm
Lobby Group meeting, 40 Patrick King Drive, Nambour
Lindel Greggery  0429 696 606

Sunday 25 October, 11am
Buddies meeting, 24 King St, Buderim
Guest speakers: Linda Dennis and Shine Jang – Nambour Community Centre

Sunday 25 – Friday 30 October
Learn English Holiday  Kayla Szumer  5476 8910
Sunday 22 November, 11am
Buddies meeting, 24 King St, Buderim

Rally: Stand up for refugees

Sunday 11 October, 1pm
Brisbane Square, top of Queen St Mall, CBD, Brisbane

National day of action
Speakers include: Mark Isaacs: Nauru whistler-blower and author of ‘Undesirables: Inside Nauru’. Rima Filhan: Syrian human rights activist. Jessica Walker and Milad Jafari: Free Mojgan campaign

Concert: Voices in Unity

Sunday 11 October, 2pm, Montville Village Hall
Nightinguys will be joining Sweet Chilli for  "Voices In Unity".
$15/$10 concession at the door, under 12s free.
Homemade afternoon tea available by donation.
Proceeds to go to Buddies.

Buddies film night fundraiser: Tangerines

Nambour Arthouse Cinema, Wednesday 21 October, 7pm
Fingerfood and drinks will be available from 6pm. Please email Marnie Greer and let her know the food you intend to bring.
Please forward the film night invitation throughout your networks and print out the poster to distribute. (see Bulletin Extra, Monday 28 September).
This will be a fantastic night out! Make sure you book your tickets and spread the word far and wide!
Kendall Snowden 5472 7209

Multicultural Awards: Nights on Ocean

Friday 13 November, 5pm. Ocean St Maroochydore
Nominations now open for this year’s Multicultural Awards.

Wanted: Winter jackets

If you have any good quality men’s and women’s jackets for a range of ages that could be brought to the next meeting, for Quinn, it would be greatly appreciated. Quinn will be personally adding these to her collection to be donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s Winter Appeal for next year, joining her collection of handmade scarves (200+ and growing). Quinn Kerr 0450 607 944

Email to send: No business in abuse


It’s working! Transfield are deleting all critical comments from the public on their Facebook page! They’re clearly spooked – email them right now so they know we’re watching them.

Petition to sign: Close Nauru detention centre

Just Act

The Uniting Church in Australia is renewing its call for the immediate closure of the Nauru detention centre after another damning report into the centre’s operations.

PHONE THE PM campaign: “Give them a Home”

Malcolm Turnbull has already conceded on ABC radio that he shares the public’s concern about offshore processing. We urge all Buddies members to phone his office and let his staff know that there is strong support around the country for a more compassionate response. Ring Peter Dutton’s office (02) 6277 7786 and Julie Bishop’s too (02) 6277 7500.

Families open homes to refugees

The Green (pages 11 and 18), 30 September 2015

Kendall Snowden and Joachim (Yokki) Rother have lived in Yandina for the past fifteen years. Their first love is singing with the Sunshine Coast Oriana Choir and they volunteer for four organizations as well as Buddies. Kendall said, "(It) provides us with a great network of friends, enjoyment and satisfaction – keeping our old bodies and brains involved!”

Minutes and Finance Report

Minutes of the Buddies meeting on 27 September 2015 can be read here.
The Finance Report 19 August–26 September can be accessed here.

Transfield Services to be renamed ‘Broadspectrum’

The Guardian, 25 September 2015

Transfield Services will ask its shareholders to approve a change in name and logo, after the company’s founding family withdrew its permission to use their Transfield brand. Transfield Holdings is seeking to distance itself because of controversy over  detention centre contracts.

Turnbull urged to fix ‘weeping sore’ of Manus and Nauru

Sydney Morning Herald, 25 September 2015

​Malcolm Turnbull is under pressure from key figures within the Coalition and crossbench senators to heal the “weeping sore” of Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru. Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs is also seeking a meeting with the Prime Minister..

More than 20,000 asylum seekers receive work rights

Sydney Morning Herald, 25 September 2015

Like thousands of others who came by boat after August 2012, Hamid Ali has been under visa conditions that stopped him from getting a job and restricted him to a fraction of the dole, $31 a day.

Refugee repatriated to save family begs for resettlement

The Guardian, 26 September 2015

Twenty-nine-year-old Eyad* nominated to be voluntarily returned to Syria from Manus last month so he could help his wife and meet his baby daughter, born while he was in detention. 

Turnbull urged to let detention centre staff speak to UN

The Guardian, 29 September 2015

More than 60 academics have penned an open letter to new PM Malcolm Turnbull, urging his government to allow detention centre workers to speak freely and without fear of prosecution.

Raped refugees must be brought to Australia

RAC Sydney, 29 September 2015

There have been increased threats against refugees on Nauru following ABC’s 7.30 program last week, highlighting recent alleged incidents of rape on the island. One Somali refugee was approached and threatened by two local men who told her, “We will kill you – do not make stories.” 

Julian Burnside: What sort of country are we?

The Conversation, 28 September 2015

2015 Hamer Oration, September 28
"It was with some surprise that I found myself engaged in such a hotly political issue as refugee policy. I had never been involved in politics, nor interested in it. My best explanation of how this happened lies in a story I heard a long time ago..."
Also in the news:
New Matilda: A Transfield insider’s account
The Age: You should try walking in these people’s shoes, Mr Turnbull
The Intercept: Pope decries ‘shameful and culpable silence’ on arms sales
SBS Online News: Calls to resettle family of Tamil asylum seeker in Australia after his organ donation saved several lives
Thank you to Val Ross, Diana Woolley, Margaret Norman and Lou Walsh for their contributions to this edition.

Please send contributions for the newsletter and/or the website to the editor. 

EDITOR: Bronwyn Bell
Please send photos or articles to Lindel Greggery

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. The Bulletin is sent Bcc [Blind carbon copy] and no-one else sees your email address.
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: 605927994    
Account name: Buddies Refugee Support Group
Or you can contribute to ‘The Box’ at our meetings and events. Your donations are much appreciated by those we help.