Buddies Refugee Support Group
Abdullah Zalghani and family after they were finally reunited in Cambodia in 2018

ABC News, 2 May

Abdullah Zalghani is one of three refugees who permanently resettled in Cambodia in 2016 as part of Australia’s refugee deal. He said he agreed to move to Cambodia after Australia offered to pay his children’s healthcare and education costs. He says documents prove Australia promised to pay the costs.
     Part of that agreement, according to documents obtained by the ABC, was that “school-aged children will be enrolled in local private schools in Phnom Penh … for up to four years after arrival”.
     Mr Zalghani’s two sons and two daughters finally arrived in Phnom Penh in December last year after 7 years apart, but when he tried to have them enrolled he was told Australia would not honour its promise. The Department of Home Affairs says refugees in Cambodia were provided with comprehensive support... more

Saturday 11 May, 2pm
Protest outside Peter Dutton's office, Strathpine
Sunday 26 May, 11am
Buddies meeting, 24 King St, Buderim. 11am: Members' business – agenda items to Scott Grimmett 0427 364 802. 11.45am: Guest speaker. 12.30pm: Refreshments.
Sunday 2 June, 5pm
Communify community dinner, Bardon
Friday 7 June, 5pm
LUMINOUS Lantern Parade, Southbank Parklands, Brisbane
Saturday 15–Saturday 22 June
Refugee Week, Sunshine Coast
Starting in June, our monthly meetings will be held at University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), BUILDING E, ROOM 14. Free parking on weekends. 

Protest outside Minister Dutton's office

Refugee Action Collective Queensland

2pm, outside Peter Dutton's office, 100 Gympie Rd, Strathpine
Come and raise your voices and display refugee rights banners to the passing traffic in what may hopefully be the closing days of the Dutton era. This has been planned as a family friendly event. Further info: RAC Facebook

Communify's Asylum Circle Kurdish and Persian community dinner

5pm, 172 Jubilee Terrace, Bardon
Communify Asylum Circle provides transitional supported accommodation to 18 men, originally from the Congo, Cameroon, Iran, Sri Lanka and Iraq, who are on bridging visas with no access to Centrelink payments. 
RSVP: Mandy Cox, 0421 662 566. View the poster.

LUMINOUS Lantern Parade

5pm, South Bank Parklands, Brisbane
The 12th annual LUMINOUS Lantern Parade celebrates Queensland Week by highlighting the strength of our cultural diversity, our heritage and our people, giving us all the opportunity to say “Welcome!” to our newest Australians. This free event unites government, community leaders, multicultural communities and all Queenslanders… more

Volunteers wanted: SCRAN Film Festival

The Sunshine Coast Refugee Action Network is coordinating a Film Festival for Refugee Week 15–22 June. So far there are 7 venues across the Coast screening 5 different films over 8 days. Volunteers are needed to help with individual events, including one in particular to be hosted by Buddies on Monday 17 June. If you are interested in helping please email Buddies or contact SCRAN for more information.

My overseas friends always comment upon Australia’s cruelty towards refugees. I’m deeply ashamed. I can only agree with them that we are an appalling country to treat human beings so abominably.

– Ros Hart, Australian citizen, on Twitter

Comparison of the political parties' policies

Refugee Council of Australia

Most refugee rights supporters are probably fairly clear about the relative virtues of the different political parties, and probably already know who they're going to vote for. But for confirmation of your views, you may like to compare them to RCOA's analysis of the major parties' policies. Let's vote for a humane Australia that defends human rights!
Go to: RCOA party ratings

VOLUNTEERS WANTED: for RWZ internet research

Gillian Duffy

Could you be a computer sleuth? SCRAN is looking for volunteers to help with background research in relation to the Refugee Welcome Zone/Welcoming Regions project. If you have time to do some internet searches and would like to get involved, please email SCRANMore info

Daniel Barney: The very real risks to asylum seeking minors 

Daniel Barney has been working on the front line with Médecins Sans Frontières in many places, and spent much time at the Jungle in Calais. Whilst working there he was particularly concerned with the plight of the unaccompanied minors... WATCH THE VIDEO

REPORT: Noosaville sausage sizzle

Penny Rivlin

Thanks to all who came along to help! David, Roy, Le, Dee,Thorsten, Tricia, Margaret K, Bryan and Robyn. A fun time and a social occasion for us, as well as a chance to let those who asked know what Buddies does. There were several long conversations over the tomato sauce. We made $1027, a great result. Many thanks again, especially for the afternoon helpers in the full sunshine.

Minutes and Finance for April 2019

Minutes of the April meeting, including the Finance Report, are attached HERE.

Partner of refugee who set himself on fire on Nauru sues Australian government

The Guardian, 28 April

Omid Masoumali had been found to be a genuine refugee and had been detained on Nauru for nearly three years when he set himself on fire in April 2016. It took 31 hours for him to be treated at a specialist burns unit. His partner is suing the Australian government for negligence and failing to provide adequate medical care for her husband. He was not given painkillers, and remained on Nauru for more than 24 hours before being airlifted to a Brisbane hospital, where he died of organ failure. An inquest has heard he would have had 95% chance of survival in Australia... more

Three months on from the medivac bill, refugee and journalist says ‘nothing has changed’

The Age, 30 April

Behrouz Boochani has criticised the government’s medivac bill three months after it came into effect, saying a list of sick refugees he worked on was ignored by the Australian government and “nothing has changed” on Manus Island. Speaking at Perth’s Curtin University’s fourth annual human rights lecture Boochani delivered the keynote address via video link and spoke about colonialism’s impact on modern Australian refugee policy, the false hope the medivac bill had given those on Manus Island and Nauru, and the splintered and ineffective processes of refugee organisations... more

Nauru counsellor escaped a refugee camp only to put himself back in a detention centre

ABC News, 28 April

Riziki Saidi has plenty of reasons to never want to set foot in a refugee camp again. Instead, he decided to return to work as a torture and trauma counsellor on Nauru. He would like to go back there again after recently finishing a 12-month contract there. Mr Saidi spent eight years raising six children in a camp with his wife after a harrowing journey fleeing their home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo... more

Vic Commissioner for Children wants access to immigration detention in the state

ABC News, 30 April

The Federal government is under pressure to clarify how many children are being held in immigration detention in Victoria. Advocates say five children under the age of seven are living in immigration detention, while a teenager is said to be detained in Melbourne’s Immigration Transit Accommodation. The state’s Commissioner for Children and Young People has requested access to assess living conditions and well-being of the children... listen

Attempted murder charges after attack on Manus Island refugee

Radio NZ, 30 April

Two men on Manus Island will be charged with the attempted murder of a refugee detained there. The suspects are alleged to have attacked Sudanese refugee Sherif Muhamin in Lorengau town. The island’s police chief, David Yapu, said the two men tried to steal the refugee’s wallet and a fight developed. One of the suspects then attempted to cut the victim’s neck with a bush knife. Mr Muhamin avoided the blow but suffered a deep cut on his arm which was treated at the island’s hospital... more

Morrison announces election promise to cap annual refugee intake

ABC News, 28 April

Scott Morrison has invoked John Howard’s refugee policies when he appeared alongside the former prime minister to pledge a re-elected Coalition government will crack down on who comes to Australia. Mr Morrison has promised to cap the numbers of migrants coming to Australia each year as refugees at 18,750, and unveiled a suite of measures outlining precisely who will be allowed to stay.“ We’ve got our borders and the Budget under control,” Mr Morrison told a crowd of Liberal Party figures... more

Trafficking in old anxieties

The Lowy Institute, 1 May 

Are the boats back? Once again a reliable fear of 'uncontrolled' immigration has been invoked in a federal election. This time current PM Scott Morrison has framed 'border control' as a question of 'congestion-busting' in major cities – and instead of the usual hard line on asylum seekers, at the weekend he has announced a cap on the entire humanitarian program. The wording might be new, but this is an old take on an old theme, and one that continues to perpetuate long-standing myths about people who seek protection from persecution... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Scott Grimmett, Penny Rivlin, 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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