Buddies Refugee Support Group
Medical students Hannah Clements and Ramana Warran with Dr Javed Badyari (centre)

ABC News Illawarra, 14 October

They've battled gale-force winds, cold winter nights, and drunks serenading them with Billy Joel classics at three in the morning. But young doctor Javed Badyari and his fiancee medical student Hannah Clements are determined to keep sleeping out in their scrubs to draw attention to the detention of asylum seekers.
   Their campaign started back in July calling for the on-shore processing of all asylum seekers and detention only for security and health checks for a limited period of time.
    Twenty-three-year old Ms Clements said, while technically it's a decision for politicians, they were hoping to raise awareness and change attitudes in the broader community.
    "The message is really important – indefinite detention harms health and is illegal, according to the international and human rights law," she said. "I think that is a worthy enough cause to be doing what we are doing"... more
Monday 21 October, 5.15pm
Movie: Against our oath, Noosa 
Wednesday 23 October, 5.50pm
Movie: Against our oath, Nambour 
Saturday 26 October–Saturday 2 November
National Unity Week
Sunday 27 October, 11am
Buddies meeting, USC Sippy Downs. Guest speaker Freddie Steen followed by members' business – agenda items to Paul McKinlay 0439 679 588. 12.30pm: Refreshments – please bring your own mug. Follow signs to Car Park 4. View the map.
Wednesday 4 December, 7.30am
Bunnings sausage sizzle, Noosaville
13–14 February 2020
RCOA Refugee Alternatives Conference, Brisbane

Movie: Against Our Oath – the inside story to the Medivac Bill

5.15pm start, 5.50pm film, Noosa Cinema
This film is particularly relevant with Parliament about to debate the repeal of the Medivac Bill. Funds raised will be donated to sponsor refugees on Manus and Nauru to resettle in Canada (see below). Tickets $25, bookings online only. Limited seats for Nambour screening (a waiting list will be operated). If seats remain, cash only on the night.

5.50pm, Majestic Cinema, Nambour.
Tickets: $20 adults, $13.50 students • View the poster

Guest speaker at our next Buddies meeting: Frederika (Freddie) Steen

Freddie is a long term ‘warrior’ for fairness and refugee/asylum seeker advocacy and supporter of Buddies. Formerly a public servant in the Immigration Department, she now volunteers with Indooroopilly Uniting church refugee support group, which helps people link with legal advice regarding visa problems, health and trauma counselling, as well as more basic food and friendship needs... Read Freddie’s full bio here.


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

Buddies Reunion Picnic – an invitation to all Homestay Hosts

11am, Roma Street Parklands, at the tables under the big white sails near the lake
This is the opportunity to catch up with new and old friends and let them know that we are still thinking of them. Please contact your refugee friends and invite them to join us all. Please bring plenty of food and drinks to share with everyone. For more info email Kayla0427 380 235
13–14 FEBRUARY 2020

Refugee Alternatives Conference 2020

Refugee Council of Australia and QUT

QUT Gardens Point Campus, Brisbane
An action-packed conference week with speakers and delegates joining us from across Australia, with priority given to speakers from refugee backgrounds. Early bird tickets are now open for a limited time onlyRegister here

Doctors unite to demand that all people in the care of the Australian Government receive appropriate medical care without discrimination, regardless of citizenship or visa status.

–AMA Media, on Twitter

PETITION TO SIGN: Doctors are fighting to #SaveMedevac


Next month the Senate will cast the final vote on whether or not Medevac stays. To win this fight we need to drown out the Government's lies with the trusted voices of doctors. Can you stand with Australia's leading doctors and peak medical bodies, and sign the petition to Save Medevac?… SIGN
Canadians and Aussies are stepping up – if the government won’t resettle Manus and Nauru refugees, we will.

Arun: a young Tamil refugee, caught in a nightmare


Help us sponsor Arun who has been held in detention for the last six years. We are part of a sponsorship team that has already sponsored Manus detainee Shaminda Kanapadhi to come to Canada, and are now working to bring Arun and several other Tamil men on Manus to Canada as well... more

Nasir: The required $17000 has been raised!


The crowdfunding campaign to get Nasir, aka the GENTLE POET OF MANUS ISLAND, to Canada, has achieved its goal! All donations will contribute to Nasir's living expenses for the first year. Every dollar will be held in trust by Community Matters Toronto and when he arrives in Canada the funds will be disbursed to him immediately… more 

Join the Ads-up Canada mailing list

Help us extend our network, build volunteer resettlement teams and raise funds to provide the future and the freedom that these refugees so desperately deserve... JOIN
REPORT: The September LEH program –
thank you to everyone who took part! 
September's Learn English Holiday program involved the largest number of participants we have yet hosted – 52 people from 10 different countries (Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Burundi, Syria, Tibet, Myanmar, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Their length of time in Australia ranged from one month to 30 months, and their English language levels ranged from absolute beginner to advanced.
    Although there was some formal focus on learning English, we recognise that much of the learning of English comes from interactions in English within the classroom but particularly with homestay hosts… read the full report

Refugee doctors torn between oath and authority

Sunshine Coast Daily, 12 October

Filmed over four years, the documentary Against Our Oath, to be premiered on Monday in Noosa, follows the ethical conflicts that erupt for doctors after the Australian government overrides their clinical decisions made for refugee patients. Film maker Heather Kirkpatrick said she was first drawn to the subject of medical ethics after reading a story in 2015 about the nationwide doctors’ protests against the Border Force Act. “This act threatened doctors with two years jail if they spoke out about detention conditions they had seen,” she said. “I could immediately see the ethical conflict doctors would find themselves in as a result of this act being passed”... more

Manus refugee suicides in Brisbane, offshore detention claims another victim

Refugee Action Coalition, 17 October

A 32-year-old mentally-distressed Afghan refugee, Sayed Mirwais Rohani, has committed suicide in Brisbane. The Afghan doctor jumped to his death from the 22nd floor of a Brisbane hotel on Tuesday. He is the eighth Manus refugee death. Mirwais was brought to Australia from Manus Island in 2017, as his mental health badly deteriorated following his detention there in 2013. Mirwais had a medical degree from a Chinese university which is recognised by Australia, and had been living in community detention in Brisbane for the last year. The tragedy is a shocking tale of deliberate abuse and neglect… more

Peak medical bodies united in support of medevac law

RACGP, 14 October

The RACGP has joined medical colleges around Australia in calling on Federal Parliament to maintain existing laws. Australia’s peak medical bodies have called on senators to block the bid to repeal the legislation. ‘Every person should have access to necessary and appropriate medical care and, as clinicians, we have a duty to uphold this basic human right,’ the 11 major medical colleges wrote in a joint statement. More than 130 people have been transferred from Nauru and PNG since the laws were passed in February. ... more

Jacqui Lambie rules out horse-trading her vote on bill to repeal medevac

The Guardian, 13 October

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie has ruled out horse-trading her vote on the Coalition’s bill to repeal provisions facilitating medical evacuation from offshore detention. Lambie – who is likely to have the casting vote – suggested she will vote on the merits of the bill after a Senate inquiry reports back on 18 October. “Tasmanians don’t want deals done over humanity,” Lambie told reporters in Canberra. “So whichever way [my vote] goes, there will be no deals done for Tasmania over this”... more

Coalition digs in over refugee transfers

New Daily, 14 October

The Morrison government is shaping up for another parliamentary brawl over refugee medical transfer. A Senate committee examining the Coalition’s push to scrap so-called medevac laws is due to report back this week and the repeal bill debated in the upper house next month. The committee is dominated by government senators, so members of opposition parties are likely to hand down dissenting reports. Despite near-universal calls to retain the laws, Attorney-General Christian Porter insists the government is reflecting the will of the people... more

New Australians feel abandoned as they battle social isolation, struggle to find employment

ABC News, 16 October

Anas Barbaree fled Iraq with his family when Islamic State militants invaded the city of Mosul in 2014. He was a qualified pharmacist working overseas, but has never been able to work in Australia in his chosen field. He’s not alone, with refugees and migrants facing significant barriers to skilled employment. Each year, about 200,000 people move to Australia from overseas, and MDA says the biggest challenge for new Australians is gaining employment. Many new arrivals struggle with communication and social isolation... more

Asylum seekers have a right to higher education and academics can be powerful advocates

The Conversation, 14 October

Australia’s refugee policy has led to a two-track education system. Those processed offshore, and deemed refugees by the time they have arrived in Australia, are entitled to fee support for university. But the almost 30,000 boat arrivals, considered illegal entrants, can only access temporary visas. This means a degree has to be paid in full, making it the impossible dream for most. Policies limiting education follow a political narrative that labels boat arrivals 'illegal'. This narrative is difficult to change without widespread community support... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Margaret Norris, Margaret Landbeck, Penny Rivlin, 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, University of the Sunshine Coast, Building E, Ground Floor Room 14.
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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