Buddies Refugee Support Group

SBS News, 10 June

Detained for six years, 25-year-old Abdul Aziz Muhamat said he “never thought he would end up in Switzerland”. He urged other Manus Island detainees to have hope.  
     “There will be a day when we will all be free in places that no-one knows,” he said on Twitter. “My destiny brought me here to Geneva in Switzerland but your destiny will take you somewhere else. It could take you to New Zealand or to Australia or to the United States.”
     He said his “good news” was overshadowed by sadness over the continued detention of refugees and asylum seekers under Australia’s offshore detention policy.  “For the first time in six years am free, but I won’t be truly free in my heart till everyone of my brother and sisters on Manus/Nauru are free and well in safe country,” he said.
   In February the Sudanese refugee accepted a major human rights award in Geneva... more
Saturday 15–Saturday 22 June
Refugee Week Sunshine Coast Community Film Festival
Monday 17 June, 6pm
Buddies film night: Constance on the Edge, Buderim
Friday 21 June, 10am
Romero art exhibition and morning tea
Saturday 22 June, 5.30pm
'Meet Mustafa' followed by film night finale The Staging Post, USC
Sunday 23 June, 11am
Buddies meeting, USC. 11am: Members' business – agenda items to Scott Grimmett 0427 364 802. 11.45am: Guest speaker Linda Dennis. 12.30pm: Refreshments.

A world of stories

Saturday 15 June: Border Politics – Maleny
Monday 17 June: Constance on the Edge – Buderim
Tuesday 18 June: The Merger – Caloundra. Tickets $12.
Wednesday 19 June: Mary meets Mohammad – *FULLY BOOKED
Thursday 20 June: Border Politics – Eumundi
Thursday 20 June: The Merger – Sippy Downs
Friday 21 June: Constance on the Edge – Nambour
Saturday 22 June: The Staging Post – Sippy Downs

Welcome to Maleny film night: Border Politics

5pm, Maleny RSL Hall
Julian Burnside deconstructs harsh asylum seeker policies around the world, arguing that failure in political leadership is compromising human rights. He questions whether the West has lost its moral compass adopting ideas that reject humanity and undermine democracy.

BUDDIES FILM NIGHT: Constance on the edge

6pm, St Marks Church, Buderim
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. View the poster. Book here.

The Merger

6pm, Caloundra Community centre
The Merger, filmed in Wagga Wagga in NSW, is a 2018 comedy/drama film based on comedian Damian Callinan's critically acclaimed solo show of the same name. The film explores the decline of a cash-strapped Aussie Rules rural footy club and the recruitment of refugees to keep the club viable. Tickets $12... Book here
Mary meets Mohammad, Noosa – FULLY BOOKED

Border Politics, 5.30 pm • Berkelow Books, Eumundi. Book here
The Merger, 6 pm • USC, Sippy Downs. Book here

Constance on the Edge • 6.30pm, Nambour Community Centre. 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

Romero art exhibition and morning tea

10–11:30am, Vera Wade Gallery, St Andrew’s Uniting Church, 299 Ann Street Brisbane
Romero Multicultural Hub cordially invites you to join us for a morning tea and celebration of the artistic gifts of refugees and people seeking asylum. A range of paintings will be showcased and available for purchase.
RSVP: Thursday 20 Junemore info

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. 

A big thanks to all our in Australia and around the world who have tirelessly support me and all of us on Manus and Nauru you helped save our life’s and have given us a hope to carry on. We are so grateful to you for the rest of our life and we love you.

– Abdul Aziz Muhamat, Manus detainee granted asylum in Switzerland, on Twitter

VIDEO: Chauka, please tell us the time

This film by Behrouz Boochani and Arash Kamali Sarvestani is available on Vimeo On Demand. The film was shot secretly on Behrouz Boochani's mobile phone in Manus detention centre – at the center of his investigation is a solitary confinement cell called Chauka. Chauka is the name of a bird which can be found only on Manus Island; it is the symbol of the island and decorates its flag. Cost: $8 to livestream... More • view the trailer

UNHCR: The global compact on refugees

The Global Compact, affirmed in December 2018, is a framework for more predictable and equitable responsibility-sharing, recognizing that a sustainable solution to refugee situations cannot be achieved without international cooperation. It provides a blueprint for governments, international organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure that host communities get the support they need and that refugees can lead productive lives.… more

Refugee sets self on fire at Manus Island amid ongoing ‘mental health crisis’

Brisbane Times, 12 June

A Somali refugee has set himself on fire amid claims of a worsening mental health crisis at the detention centre. The 31-year-old was not seriously injured when he set himself alight at the East Lorengau compound on Manus. Distressing photos show him doused in white foam from a fire extinguisher, his red T-shirt visibly burnt. He was taken to the neighbouring Shamrock facility for refugees and asylum seekers who have self-harmed, according to advocate Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition... more

Manus Governor demands action from Australia as Boochani says self-harm has spiked

ABC News, 13 June

The men who lived in Australian detention on Manus say there’s been a spike in self-harm and writer Behrouz Boochani says refugees on Manus have “completely lost hope". Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin has called on Australia to remove the remaining men. He said police are limited in what they can do, and he wants the PNG and Australian governments to step in. The Home Affairs department says it works closely with PNG to ensure transferees have appropriate health services... more

Keneally exposes visa system chaos under Dutton

Independent Australia, 10 June

Shadow Minister for Home Affairs Kristina Keneally has signalled Labor’s intention to hold the Government to account for the chaos in our visa system. Data confirms that the Department of Home Affairs is continuing to struggle. Funding over the next few years, together with plans for visa privatisation, suggest the Government has no effective method for regaining control over our air borders. The problems start with enormous visa application backlogs and ballooning processing times… more

That Trump phone call to Australia and what it means to refugees today

Lowy Institute, 12 June

Secret 'swaps' might have led the US President to hang up on Malcolm Turnbull but the principle of the deal must stand. When Trump and the former PM held their infamous protocol-smashing phone call in January 2017, largely lost in the international headlines about the exchange was the actual topic of conversation. Now as a result of a recent story broken by Politico about two accused murderers being resettled in Australia, more light has been shed on the secretive background to the call... more

Andrew Hamilton: On first reading Boochani on Manus

Eureka Street, 7 May

I came late to No Friend But the Mountains. I expected to find a harrowing account of life on Manus, accurate and unadorned. He is a brave journalist. But I was not expecting to be blown away by the literary quality and the epic scope of the book. Boochani describes the dehumanisation of people as the intended outcome of a policy that sent people unwanted in Australia to the prison so that their suffering would deter others. Such a system flows inevitably from the view that people may be used as means for extraneous goals... more

Australia must use past success to reset future asylum policy, professor says

The Guardian, 13 June

Jane McAdam of the Kaldor Centre for refugee law argues for seven principles to inform new policy and overturn ‘draconian’ laws. She says the Tampa crisis in 2001 helped shift Australian immigration policies towards a harsher system of offshore camps and boat turnbacks. But Australia can reset this policy by looking to its past successes and best current practice from around the world, to create a “principled and pragmatic” approach. The Centre has examined best practice refugee policy throughout the world, crafting seven principles as a foundation for “a more positive, long-term approach” to how Australia treats those seeking asylum... more

Australia’s asylum seeker policy history: a story of blunders and shame

The Conversation, 12 June 

This article was developed from a series of interviews with politicians, officials and other key players, including former Immigration minister Chris Evans and former Victorian premier Steve Bracks. Others preferred to remain anonymous. We know very little about the kind of government Scott Morrison runs. What are his political values and policy aspirations? Recent history suggests processes of policy decision-making can make or break governments. And Labor’s shambolic attempts to create asylum seeker policy during the Rudd-Gillard years are emblematic of the dire consequences when tried-and-tested processes of policy advice fail... more
Thank you to Janine de la Begassiere, Gillian Duffy, Scott Grimmett, Ann Koenig, 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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