Ten-year-old George from Syria arrives at Sydney airport with his family, one of the first to be resettled under the Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot.
Photograph: Jessica Hromas/The Guardian
SBS NEWS, 26 AUGUST
Refugees in urgent need of resettlement will be supported by local community groups under a new pilot program aiming to guide and support new arrivals. The Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot (CRISP) program will allow Australians to form a group to welcome a refugee household to their area, helping them to settle in their new home.
The scheme is modelled on a Canadian scheme that has resettled more than 325,000 refugees over 40 years. The program will enable community supporter groups to assist refugees to access accommodation, local orientation, education and government services.
Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia (CRSA) trains and deploys community groups under the program, to help refugees and refugee families needing urgent resettlement as identified by the UNHCR.
Australia's annual refugee intake remains capped at a ceiling of 13,750 places for 2022-23 and over the four-year period of forward estimates, below the pre-pandemic levels of 18,750 places per year. The government this year committed to an additional one-off allocation of 16,500 places for Afghan refugees over the next four years.
SATURDAY 10 SEPTEMBER, 10AM – 12 NOON LEARN ENGLISH HOLIDAY MEETING for classroom volunteers, Homestay hosts and drivers Matthew Flinders Anglican College, 7 Main St Buderim
Chapel at Matthew Flinders Anglican College, 1-47 Stringybark Road, Buderim (see map)
Learn how to share your interest in refugee issues. Shivani Kanodia from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre will be running this workshop for Buddies for LEH volunteers and Buddies interested in learning some powerful strategies for communicating with others about refugees and similar ‘difficult’ subjects.
SUNDAY 18-FRIDAY 23 SEPTEMBER LEARN ENGLISH HOLIDAY PROGRAM Matthew Flinders College, Buderim
Preparations are currently underway for the next Learn English Holiday program to be held during the first week of the school holidays.
SUNDAY 23 OCTOBER, 11AM NEXT BUDDIES GENERAL MEETING Venue to be advised.
SATUFDAY 12 NOVEMBER BUDDIES 20 YEAR ANNIVERSARY DINNER
Connections on King (Uniting Church Hall) Buderim.
Buddies is celebrating its 20 year Anniversary on this day and we are planning a special event including a multicultural dinner and night of entertainment. We will also be launching our book (title yet to be confirmed) with copies available for purchase. Cost: there will be a set cover charge.
More details to follow.
We face the outrageous situation in Australia where someone who has never been convicted of any crime can be held indefinitely in immigration detention. Let's ditch this cruel & unlawful policy once & for all.
– Andrew Wilkie MP, parliamentarian, on Twitter
Support the Romero Pantry Run
With over a 40% increase in demand for Romero Pantry items, a real crisis for the individuals and families we support is happening. Many were already struggling, and for those who have no work rights, poverty is ever-present.
We are calling on our supporters to help provide as many $25 shopping vouchers as possible to provide to families and others. Please support the Romero Pantry Run Appeal by donating today.
You may have seen recent news coverage of the first community-sponsored refugee families being welcomed to Australia by their community supporter groups. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed at the scale of the global refugee situation, this is your chance to help – one family at a time.
Fundraiser: From fear to freedom - reunite an Afghan family in Australia
Shilo and Asifa, Chuffed.org
"We are fundraising to bring the Hazara family of Asifa to Australia from Afghanistan, sponsoring her family under the Community Support Program. This includes her sister, brother, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and her 3 nieces and nephews. The total cost of the Community Support Program process alone for the 2 families (4 adults and 3 children) is approximately $62,000."
DIRECTORS: We still require one or two ‘new’ Directors. If you are interested in the roles and responsibilities of being a Director, they are summarised here. Please phone Len (0419 664 524) or Lynda (0416 878 431) to discuss.
SECRETARY: Not an onerous role, the Secretary is responsible for keeping the register of members, keeping minutes and other records of meetings, and receiving official correspondence. For further information please email current Secretary Gaynore Stoessel.
PETITION: Australia, raise the refugee and humanitarian intake
More than 100 million people are currently displaced around the world, but Australia is turning its back. In contrast, countries such as the US are committing to resettling 125,000 refugees every year. The Albanese Government has committed to increasing the intake to 27,000 places annually. This is welcomed, but Australia can do so much more...
ABC News Special
Reporter Sarah Dingle looks at the refugee crisis around the world, where nearly 90 million people are fleeing from genocide, persecution, environmental disasters and famine.
Both ongoing and newly developed conflicts are driving this displacement across the globe. Streamed live on 31 August 2022
The minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 28 August can be viewed HERE. The financial statement for August 2022 can be viewed HERE.
A year since fleeing Kabul: ‘Now my children can grow up in peace’
THE GUARDIAN, 12 AUGUST
The withdrawal of allied troops from Afghanistan a year ago led to desperate scenes as refugees tried to escape the Taliban. Noor Ramazan tells his family’s story.
"By the time we arrived at the big blue gate of Kabul airport, there must have been tens of thousands of people there. They were rushing from this gate to that for safety, shouting and yelling for help. Taliban were yelling at people and pointing their guns at them. You could hear gunshots everywhere.
After 20 years, everything in Afghanistan was back to where it began. Everyone remembered the first time the Taliban came.
We all knew who Taliban were. That’s why everyone wanted to be the first to leave. After years of waiting, hoping and dreaming about our country, we were leaving our belongings, family and friends.
Labor urged to improve work rights for people on bridging visas amid skilled migration push THE GUARDIAN, 1 SEPTEMBER
Would-be permanent residents protest in frustration after overseas visa applicants get priority ABC NEWS, 18 AUGUST
MP Monique Ryan says the focus of the recent jobs summit must not detract from dealing with massive backlog of humanitarian visas. The government is being urged to look at improving work rights for people on bridging visas already in Australia, and not to neglect the backlog of humanitarian visas amid calls for an increase to the skilled migration intake.
There is widespread expectation the government will boost Australia’s skilled migration intake from around 160,000 people a year to 200,000 people, But the government is also considering fast-tracking permanent residency for many visa holders already in the country to help address chronic workforce shortages.
Hundreds of permanent residency visa applicants marched in Adelaide recently to protest the government prioritising offshore applicants.The government announced late last month that off-shore visa applications would be prioritised for processing, to get more people coming to the country. An immigration expert has warned long waiting periods may discourage future skilled migrants from coming to Australia.
It was the last straw for 34-year-old organiser Ragab Youssef who organised the Adelaide protest attended by “hundreds” of similarly angry visa applicants.
He said the protest was about asking for fair and reasonable processing times for protection visas.
The Nadesalingam family’s ‘very happy life’ in Biloela now that visas approved
ABC NEWS, 6 AUGUST
The Nadesalingam family are living a “very happy life” in Biloela, just under two months after their return to the town, settling back after returning in June.
Priya is learning how to drive and Nades is back working at the meatworks. The girls are back at school and say they are loving it.
The four members of the Tamil family were recently granted permanent residency visas, bringing to an end their four-and-half-year immigration ordeal.
“My girls’ life is safe,” mum Priya Nadaraja said. We[’re] feeling very happy. A long journey, four and a half years… hard life.”
Priya, her husband Nades Murugappan and their daughters Kopika and Tharnicaa have been living in Biloela since June after the new Labor government granted them bridging visas.
Only a matter of time before someone is killed in immigration detention THE GUARDIAN, 4 SEPTEMBER
Andrew Wilkie: Humanity must have a place in home affairs ANDREWWILKIE.ORG, 11 AUGUST
As the average detention period blows out to a record 700 days, people detained in Villawood immigration detention centre in Sydney say severe overcrowding, the easy availability of drugs and an influx of “501s” – non-citizens who have had their visas cancelled for a criminal conviction – have made conditions inside centres such as Villawood intolerable. Many have been left with permanent scars after being assaulted, and that violence inside has become so normalised that it’s only a matter of time before someone is killed.
Detainee Sarah Atangana said she had been attacked twice in three months inside. She said the centre was “awash” with ice, heroin and cocaine.
"A little girl in a flowery frock and pink tiara enjoying her fifth birthday with a koala-topped cake is an image guaranteed to soften even the hardest of hearts.
"But when Tharnicaa Nadesalingam smiled sweetly for the cameras recently in a Queensland park, it also marked the end of a four-year ordeal as it was the first time she had ever celebrated a birthday outside of immigration detention.
"Indeed, the Federal Government squandered more than $7 million keeping “Tharni”, big sister Kopika, dad Nades and mum Priya behind bars, despite the fact the Queensland community of Biloela was more than happy to continue providing them with a safe haven."
After surviving abduction and torture, Salhe is thriving in Australia via a new venture
SBS NEWS, 29 AUGUST
When 29-year-old Salhe Siraj fled Eritrea to escape forced conscription, he was seeking freedom from conflict. Instead, he was abducted by a criminal gang, held hostage and tortured for ransom.
Like many refugees starting over in Australia, Salhe’s tenacity is helping him overcome new challenges. It’s early morning, and Salhe is hanging brightly coloured clothing at his clothing stall in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market. Called African Elegance, it is a new venture for the refugee, and a great source of pride.
“I like to work with my own business because it gives me more freedom,” he says.
Freedom is a recurring theme for Salhe. “Back home in Africa there is always fighting, always problems. So I left the country, to find peace for myself,” he said.
Thank you to Clare Arico, Gaynore Stoessel, Kayla Szumer, Lynda Utting, Lesley Willcoxson and Diana Woolleyfor their contributions to this edition.
BUDDIES BULLETIN – EDITORIAL POLICY DEADLINE FOR CONTRIBUTIONS:The next Bulletin will be out on Friday 14 October.
Deadline for items is 5pm, Wednesday 7 October.
Please send contributions for the newsletter to the editor. EDITOR / PRODUCTION:Wendy Oakley WEBSITE: Wendy Oakley FACEBOOK – SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER:Sam McGill
ABOUT BUDDIES REFUGEE SUPPORT GROUP 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.