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Buddies Refugee Support Group

SBS News, 22 May

Refugee advocates say many detainees had been hopeful a Labor government would be victorious after Bill Shorten had promised to increase Australia’s humanitarian intake to 27,000 refugees a year and accept New Zealand’s offer to resettle 150 asylum seekers. Scott Morrison had instead announced cuts to overall migration numbers, with many fearing he would also abolish the Medevac law passed in February this year.
     “We were following the elections closely and our hopes were crushed,” said Sudanese refugee and human rights award winner Abdul Aziz Muhamat. “We were really hopeful. We thought a new government would come and we could start our lives again. It was a shock but I understand people inside Australia have different priorities...”
    Author Behrouz Boochani said it was a sign that Australia had become “more fascist”... more
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
Monday 17 June, 6pm
Buddies film night: Constance on the Edge, Buderim
Saturday 22 June, 6pm
Film night finale: The Staging Post, USC
NEXT BUDDIES MEETING, SUNDAY 26 MAY

Guest speaker at Sunday’s meeting

Aleem Ali, CEO of Welcoming Australia
Aleem has spent the past 20 years seeding and mentoring the development of leading initiatives and social enterprises that advance communities where everyone can belong. He is a mentor and advisor to various startups, community enterprises and government agencies, including Apolitical, Immigration NZ and the Council on Economic Participation for Refugees. As the CEO of Welcoming Australia, Aleem is working with leaders and organisations across the country.

PLEASE BRING TO OUR NEXT MEETING...

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
THIS MONTH ST MARY'S, NEXT MONTH USC! 
Starting in June, our monthly meetings will be held at University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), BUILDING E, ROOM 14. Free parking on weekends. 
(VIEW THE MAP HERE).
SUNDAY 2 JUNE

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.
FRIDAY 7 JUNE

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
REFUGEE WEEK COMMUNITY FILM FESTIVAL
SATURDAY 15 – SATURDAY 22 JUNE

Free Community Film Festival

Coordinated by SCRAN, aiming to raise community awareness through sharing stories of refugees and people seeking asylum. Most screenings are free but booking is essential. Please promote widely – download the poster and email to your networks, share on Facebook, post on community noticeboards. Full program details.
BOOK HERE.
MONDAY 17 JUNE

Buddies film night: Constance on the edge (as part of Refugee Week)

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.
SATURDAY 22 JUNE

Finale: The Staging Post free screening

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

My heart is broken for the refugees on Manus and Nauru who have been condemned to extended indefinite detention and harm. Now is the time to fight even harder for justice and freedom.


– Nick McKim, Greens spokesperson on immigration, on Twitter

A GOOD NEWS STORY: What happens after the Learn English Holiday

Lesley Willcoxson

Syrian couple Rami and Jenny took part in the April LEH program, staying with homestay hosts Elissa and Matt. During the program they met Leanne, a teacher who was working as a classroom volunteer, and Rami and Jenny talked to her about Rami’s work as a hairdresser and Jenny’s profession as a makeup artist... read more

WORK WANTED: for Iranian asylum seeker

As a truck driver, plumber’s labourer or in any driving or labouring position. Has an Australian heavy vehicle licence, has worked twenty years as a plumber in Iran (including gas) and ten years as a truck driver in Iraq. Spent four years on Manus, now in Brisbane, receives no government support. In his forties, has a resume, a good grasp of English, fit and well and would make a reliable hardworking employee. Please contact Bronwyn Bell 5445 3727.

TO GIVE AWAY: King size single base and mattress ensemble in good condition

Transportation to Brisbane available if needed. If you have an asylum seeker friend who could use this, please contact Kylie, 0412 252 798.

FACTSHEET: The cost of Australia’s asylum and refugee policies: A source guide

The Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, University of New South Wales, March 2019

The exact financial cost of Australia’s asylum seeker policy can be very difficult to establish, as expenditure ranges across a number of government programs and portfolios. So how much does it cost to detain asylum seekers? Read the full guide.
VIDEO: THE BURNSIDE CONVERSATIONS, EP 13

Wolfgang Ischinger: Learning From Refugees of the Past

Former Ambassador to both the US and Great Britain, Wolfgang Ischinger is sometimes described as 'Germany’s best connected former diplomat'. Ischinger cites the horrors of the Berlin Wall and the memories of genocide as affecting current decisions regarding refugees in Germany. 
Watch the video.

Petition supporting Tamil family delivered to Immigration Minister

SBS News, 18 May

The town of Biloela might be more than 1300 kilometres from Sydney but that hasn’t stopped Angela Fredericks from travelling to Sydney with a number other residents to deliver a petition with more than 190,000 signatories to federal Immigration Minister David Coleman. The High Court has denied the Tamil family their final bid to stay. Ms Fredericks said the family is well respected in the community. “Nades was a hard worker he was always up bright and early out to the meat works where he worked”... more

Rwandans accused of 1999 tourist murders in Uganda secretly brought to Australia in deal with US

ABC News, 17 May 2019, 

Two Rwandan men were recently settled in Australia as part of a refugee swap, after spending 15 years in US immigration detention after efforts to convict them failed. The case was dropped when a US judge found the men’s confession to alleged crimes were obtained under torture. It is not known whether Australia accepting the two Rwandans was a precondition of the US agreeing to take on refugees from Manus Island... more
 

Morrison faces roadblock on refugee bill

Canberra Times, 20 May

Scott Morrison faces an uphill battle to unwind laws making it easier for asylum seekers to seek medical transfers. The PM has nominated repealing the so-called 'medevac bill' as one of his most pressing priorities. However it remains unlikely the repeal will gain Senate support, despite his re-election. The laws were passed by Labor and the independents against the Morrison government’s wishes, giving  doctors more power to recommend the transfer of sick refugees on Manus and Nauru for medical treatment. Only one person was transferred to Australia under the laws during the first month, despite warnings from the government that hundreds would come within weeks... more

Re-election of conservative party in Australia dashes hopes among refugees

Rudaw, 23 May

At least 12 refugees have attempted suicide since the re-election of the conservative government earlier this week, activists and refugees have confirmed. Behrouz Boochani tweeted that there have been “12 cases of self-harm and suicide attempts” so far. Boochani warned that the number is rising “by hours now”. He pleads for help on behalf of the refugees detained on the islands. “As a witness to six years of torture & violence by the Aus gov on Manus, I’m begging the people who still believe in human dignity to do whatever they can to help these broken souls on Manus & Nauru. The refugees’ mental health state has never been as bad before,” Boochani wrote on Twitter... more
 

Satire: New Zealand navy turns back thousands of Australian boats

Situation Theatre, 19 May

Looks like progressive Australians will have to stay and fight. In what’s being described as a “reverse Dunkirk”, the NZ navy has turned back 5000 private Australian vessels that arrived on their beaches this morning following the re-election of the Coalition government. When many middle-class progressive Australians heard last night that Morrison would be giving a victory speech, they immediately packed up their possessions, commandeered a yacht, dinghy, or kayak, and set off across the Tasman. It came as no surprise to disaffected Aussies that their dreams of a better future were dashed by one of the conservative government’s many toxic exports: boat turn-back policy... more
 

Kon Karapanagiotidis: What the Morrison Government means for refugees

Independent Australia, 21May

Our doors [at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre] have just opened for the first time since a Morrison Government was elected. I’m hurting just like I imagine you all are right now and I have shed more tears than I could have thought possible over this last weekend. But I feel most devastated for people seeking asylum, who were desperately holding onto the hope that a more compassionate government would be ushered in on Saturday. Still, even in the shadow of great loss and sadness I woke up today determined more than ever to fight. Determined that there is a better Australia ahead. .. more

Faith leaders call on newly elected Government to resolve plight of refugees on Manus

Mirage News, 21 May

“Marking this time of new beginning, we urge the newly elected Government and Prime Minister to resolve the plight of the 1000+ refugees in Manus and Nauru, some of whom are now in Australia. Let them settle here. It is a new day in our Australian democracy; a time for new beginnings. It would be so wonderful if this painful matter from the past was concluded now. In some of our Scriptures there is the record of a Jubilee moment when people help others make a new beginning, offering consolation to those long trapped in bleak circumstances. The source of this kindness is the recognition that all we have comes from God"... more
 
Thank you to Janine de la Begassiere, Gillian Duffy, Scott Grimmett, Paul McKinlay, Penny Rivlin, Bill Stanford, Lesley Willcoxson and Diana Woolley for their contributions to this edition.
DEADLINE FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: 5pm Wednesday
Please send contributions for the newsletter to the editor. 

EDITOR / PRODUCTION: Wendy Oakley
WEBSITE: Mike Law

FACEBOOK: Anneliese Broadaway
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ABOUT BUDDIES
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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