Buddies Refugee Support Group, 6 July

While a high school education is a given for many Australians, a refugee who has resettled in the US feels overwhelming survivor’s guilt for living a life that most asylum seeker inmates only dream of.
     Having just graduated from the Truman College of Chicago, Imran Mohammed Fazal Hoque is now up to speed with other students and looking to further his education at university. Ahead of him is opportunity and hope — the chance to make the most of all that his new home offers.
    It is a far cry from where he found himself until a few years ago, languishing in what he described as “prison” for four years on Manus Island. He is a Rohingya refugee who fled Myanmar at 16, only to be detained on Manus at 19. 
     These days he still keeps in touch with the men there. They are a world away and the starkness between his existence and theirs fills him with pain, he says... more
Friday 19 July, 5.30pm
Vigil for refugees still held on Manus and Nauru, Buderim
Saturday 20 July, 2pm
Rally: Six years too long, Brisbane
Tuesday 23 July, 9.30am
Free training: Communicating across cultures, Nambour 
Sunday 28 July, 11am
Buddies meeting, USC. 11am: Guest speaker followed by members' business – agenda items to Scott Grimmett 0427 364 802. 12.30pm: Refreshments – please bring your own tea/coffee mug. Follow the University signs to Car Park 4. View the map.
Saturday 26 October–Saturday 2 November
National Unity Week

VIGIL: for refugees still held on Manus and Nauru

5.30 pm, St Mark’s Anglican Church, 7 Main St, Buderim
Same venue as last year, with hospitality to follow. Ceremony begins at 5.30 with the tolling of the bells. Spread the word so that we can continue to witness to the plight of these innocent people... View the poster.

Six Years Too Long – Close Manus & Nauru

2-4pm, Queens Park, Brisbane CBD 

Hosted by Refugee Action Collective Queensland

Speakers include: Shamindan, Manus refugee from Sri Lanka (via phone). 
   The re-election of the Morrison government is a setback for refugees, but Morrison has no mandate for anti-refugee racism, and his government can and must be fought. We need to take to the streets, now more than ever. This is a national event… more

Free training: Communicating across cultures

9.30am–1pm, Nambour Community Centre  
Specifically for small not for profit organisations, groups and volunteers, and aiming to support community groups to welcome people from diverse cultural backgrounds (from a communications and cultural perspective) as potential members, volunteers and committee members. Morning tea provided. View the flyer

No words today. I just want to thank all the wonderful people who have given me encouragement, support, motivation, and love. It is just the beginning.

– Imran Mohammad, Manus detainee recently resettled in the US, on Facebook


Kendall Snowden and Wendy Oakley

We were blown away by an incredible donation of $1000 from a donor who writes "I really do hope that this helps to show the family you're assisting that they are supported, even by people they haven't met before." Please consider donating if you haven't already. If you've already donated please share the Chuffed website with friends. DONATE

Call your MP about the Biloela family


URGENT: 2 year old Tharunicaa has been taken to hospital with a head injury after a whiteboard fell and hit her on the head. Her distraught parents had to wait seven hours to have her injury assessed after worrying symptoms manifested. Detention is no place for kids. Please, call your MP and urge them to help us get these kids out of detention.

Send a message to Alan Jones!

BRASA News, 7 July

On 27 June 2GB Sydney radio presenter Alan Jones criticised Minister Peter Dutton for keeping the Biloela family in detention. In view of Friday’s injury to the younger girl, let’s call on Jones (who previously  worked as a speech writer in the office of the Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser!) to urge the Minister to release this family from detention in MITA. Using this email form it will take you less than 2 minutes.

I have written to Immigration Minister David Coleman asking him to review the case of Priya, Nades & their Australian-born daughters. I urge him to listen to the Biloela community when making this decision.

– Kristina Keneally, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Home Affairs, on Twitter

NEW BOOK: This land is our land

Renowned author Suketu Mehta subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny. As he explains, the West is being destroyed not by immigrants, but by the fear of immigrants. As civil strife and climate change reshape large parts of the planet, it is little surprise that borders have become so porous. But Mehta also stresses the destructive legacies of colonialism and global inequality on large swaths of the world. This land is our land is a timely and necessary intervention, and a literary polemic of the highest order... more

FACTSHEET: The Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration

Kaldor Centre for Refugee Law, UNSW

Two new, non-binding international agreements have set out improvements for enhancing international cooperation and better managing the movement and safety of refugees and migrants. Both were adopted by the UN in December 2018, although their impact will depend on how governments choose to act on their commitments… more

UN inspectors primed for ‘unfettered access’ to Australian detention centres

The Guardian, 5 July

Human rights inspectors are due to visit and inspect places of detention for the first time, with the right to go into any location unannounced. The UN subcommittee on prevention of torture will be visiting six countries, including Australia and Nauru. It will be the first time Australia is subject to the inspections, which it is obliged to allow after ratifying the optional protocol to the convention against torture (Opcat) in 2017. The protocol was designed to prevent the mistreatment of people in detention through inspection processes... more

Dozens more Manus Island refugees sent to the US, hundreds remain

RadioNZ, 3 July

Thirty-eight refugees detained on Manus have been resettled in the US, advocate Ian Rintoul says. The 38 flew out from PNG in two groups on 26 June and 2 July. They join about 200 others from Manus who have been resettled in various parts of America over the past two years. In total about 580 refugees from Australian offshore detention on Manus and Nauru have now been transferred to the US. Another 60 refugees are in Port Moresby waiting to go. About 500 remain on Manus and 300 in Nauru, while about 1000 others held on the two islands are now detained in Australia... more

Court raises concerns Australia putting relations with Nauru before health of refugees

ABC News, 6 July

A Federal Court judge has raised concerns that the Australian Government is putting good relations with Nauru ahead of the health of refugees on the island. Judge Debra Mortimer noted the Government had failed to comply with a court order to “transfer an applicant to Australia for medical and psychiatric treatment, which he needed, and which was not available to him on Nauru”. However the Government continues to insist that  decisions on transfers are to be made by Nauru and not Australia... more

MSF: Medevac still a desperate measure for a desperately real situation

Médecins Sans Frontières, 5 July

Six years of indefinite offshore processing have had a dreadful impact on the health of asylum seekers and refugees on both Nauru and Manus; and we continue advocating for their immediate and permanent evacuation. “Our politicians should know, and the public needs to know, that the health crisis on Manus and Nauru is real. The mental and physical suffering of the human beings trapped by Australian policy is real. The need to urgently act to stop this unnecessary suffering is real”... more

Bring Behrouz home to Australia: he is one of us

Sydney Morning Herald, 4 July

This week a campaign was launched by the literary and journalistic community, asking for Boochani to be brought to Australia. The campaign letter, with many signatories –including a Nobel laureate, several Booker Prize winners, and multiple Walkley award winners – is an expression of concern for Boochani’s safety and well-being. It is an acknowledgement that he is now an integral part of the Australian community, and of our history. Boochani’s case is emblematic of the plight of all refugees who remain in offshore detention... more

Dutton’s Australia: Refusing medical care to a two-year-old

Independent Australia, 8 July

A two-year-old in immigration detention has been denied hospital care as her Biloela community continues its 17-month battle to keep a beloved family from deportation. Last week two-year-old Tharunicaa was struck on the head by a whiteboard at MITA in Melbourne. “A manager at the centre ignored the concerns of a guard and refused to allow Tharunicaa to be taken to hospital for over five hours, despite her vomiting soon after the incident,” said family friend and advocate Angela Fredericks... more

How did our treatment of refugees come to this?

West Australia Today, 4 July

Imagine losing your eye in an assault and going slowly blind in the other, but having no medical treatment available. Or having your kneecap torn loose, causing intense pain and swelling, but being given nothing but paracetamol and a bandage. These things have happened to refugees held offshore, on Australia’s watch. How did it come to this? Now, as one of its first acts, the new government is planning to roll back a law that enables very ill people to obtain urgent medical assistance... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Kendall Snowden, Margaret Norris 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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