Buddies Refugee Support Group

SBS News, 3 October

In recent months, dozens of asylum seekers on Manus Island took up an offer from PNG authorities to move to the capital, with the promise they would “continue to receive services like those currently available to them”.
    But the Refugee Action Coalition has claimed their “living conditions and safety are now under threat”. The group said asylum seekers were initially offered accommodation at the Granville Motel (pictured), but had since been told their living allowance would be cut off if they did not move into other accommodation. The men are given a living allowance of 100 kina or approximately $50 a week.
    “It is impossible to survive on 100 kina a week in Port Moresby,” the RAC said. “At present, the hotels accommodating the refugees are guarded. But refugees who tried to live in one residential district, Morata, are now destitute and have all been bashed and robbed more than once by locals armed with guns or knives"... 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, Sippy Downs
Buddies meeting. Guest speaker followed by members' business – agenda items to Paul McKinlay 0439 679 588. 12.30pm: Refreshments – please bring your own mug. Follow the signs to Car Park 4. View the map.
Wednesday 4 December, 7.30am
Bunnings sausage sizzle, Noosaville

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

5.15pm start, 5.50pm film, Noosa Cinema
Screened by SCRAN. Award winning film maker Heather Kirkpatrick has chosen the Sunshine Coast for the Queensland premiere of her new film, which tells the inside story of the Medevac Bill. The film includes footage filmed in secret by a Buddies member on Nauru. Tickets only available online. Book now: Tickets $25. •  View the poster.

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


Bunnings sausage sizzle fundraiser

7.30am–4.30pm, Bunnings Noosaville 
A fun way to meet other Buddies, and possibly spread the word about refugee support whilst hopefully raising lots of money towards Buddies’ work. Sausage sizzles are a great fundraiser for Buddies.

It will take a long time for Aus to recognise how the dictatorship practiced in Manus & Nauru is negatively impacting its political culture, but history will prove it. Dictatorship is like a cancer & spreads everywhere. This part of Australian history will chase you for decades.

– Behrouz Boochani, internationally acclaimed author and journalist detained in PNG by the Australian government, on Twitter

PETITION: Scott Morrison: Release the 53 asylum seekers from PNG Bomana prison

We demand the release of the 53 asylum seekers who have committed no crime yet have been imprisoned in the Bomana Detention Centre in Port Moresby since August. These men have effectively ‘disappeared’. Despite doing no wrong, all 53 men have had their phones confiscated and all contact with the outside world denied… SIGN
Canadians and Aussies are stepping up – if the Australian government won’t resettle Manus and Nauru refugees,
we will.

Help Nasir get from Manus to Canada


The crowdfunding campaign to get Nasir, aka the GENTLE POET OF MANUS ISLAND, to Canada, is more than halfway to its goal! We have the sponsors and application forms ready to go — all we need is $6000 more. Nasir has asked us to extend his heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you. He is overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity, and your messages of support give him hope. He is profoundly grateful, as are we… more 

FACTSHEET: Alternative refugee pathways: Private and community-led refugee sponsorship

The Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

Private sponsorship operates alongside government programs as an alternative way to resettle refugees. As the words ‘private’ and ‘community-led’ suggest, such programs rely on individuals, community and faith-based groups, families or businesses to support a refugee (and sometimes their family) to integrate into their new country… more

Support Goodwill Wines, support Buddies

There’s just time for folk to get in some sparkling wine for Melbourne Cup day, or maybe for Christmas. Goodwill Wine has some well priced cases of whites, reds and one sparkling Brut case on offer (<$15 a bottle). Choose your wine first, and then put Buddies as your choice of charity. The founder of Goodwill Wine was given Red Cross appeal cash support after the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. He decided to donate $2 a bottle to your charity as  ‘pay forward'… more

‘We all feel the shame and guilt’: Aussie Canadians campaign to sponsor refugees detained Down Under

Canada Star, 7 October

Australian-born psychologist Juliet Donald’s team is among a growing number of groups from the Australian diaspora in Canada trying to “right the wrong” perpetrated by their government regarding the offshore processing of boat people. Last year Washington-based expatriate Ben Winsor co-founded Australian Diaspora Steps Up, or AdsUP, to support the settlement of the new arrivals in the US. The online community now has more than 1,700 members, many in Australia, who want to fundraise, donate and volunteer to help the newcomers... more

Australia on track for new annual record for asylum seekers arriving by air

Sydney Morning Herald, 8 October

Official figures have confirmed more than 95,000 arrivals by air over the past five years, amid fears of corruption and exploitation. About 80 people every day since the start of July have claimed protection after landing at an Australian airport, highlighting a huge change in people smuggling operations since the government’s crackdown on boat arrivals. The trend appears likely to push the annual arrivals to a new high while adding to claims of 'slavery' by smugglers who recruit workers who arrive as tourists, claim asylum and stay in Australia while their cases go through the courts... more

Asylum seekers approved for medevac transfers detained in Port Moresby

The Guardian, 10 October

Asylum seekers who have been approved for medevac transfers to Australia are among 52 men who have been locked up in Port Moresby detention without access to phones or lawyers for the past two months. Two months ago PNG authorities arrested dozens of men who had been sent by Australia for refugee detention and processing, and confiscated phones and medication. They were taken to Bomana immigration detention centre, which is annexed to a prison facility in Port Moresby. The vast majority of those in Bomana are Iranian... more

Jackie Lambie should not horse trade on medevac repeal bill

The Conversation, 3 October

Jacqui Lambie has a lot of power – and sometimes the crucial vote – on contested issues in the Senate. Soon Lambie will face a decision affecting relatively few lives but those in a huge way. She’ll be the determining vote on the legislation to repeal medevac, the law that facilitates medical transfers from PNG and Nauru. Lambie is “keeping her cards close to her chest”. Meanwhile, behind the scenes a race is on to get as many people as possible with medical needs to Australia ahead of the vote, in case the government wins Lambie’s support... more

Hakeem Al-Araibi urges Australia to help others facing persecution

SBS News, 9 October

Refugee footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi has opened up about his 76 days behind bars in Thailand. He still fears for the safety of his loved ones in Bahrain and has urged the Morrison government to help them. The Bahrain-born Australian made global headlines last year after he was detained by Thai authorities on his honeymoon from Melbourne and threatened with deportation back to the Middle Eastern country. “My brother, he spoke against the government, and he’s been in jail for seven years,” Mr Al-Araibi said, adding that his brother has no release date... more

Perth aid worker recounts life inside the world’s largest refugee camp

WA Today, 5 October

Perth water and sanitation engineer Samuel Cleary has spent the last two years spearheading the Australian Red Cross’ sanitation and water efforts in Cox’s Bazar, the world’s largest refugee camp. Thousands of makeshift huts dot the muddy hillsides of the camps, a maze of small plastic and bamboo shelters, home to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya. It is the world’s largest refugee camp, located on Bangladesh’s south-east coast, and it houses nearly 750,000 people, most of them fleeing Myanmar’s campaign of ethnic violence... more

Massive wage underpayments at major recycler a ‘national disgrace’

Sydney Morning Herald, 5 October

A group of refugees and migrants were underpaid an estimated $1 million in a single year while working more than 70 hours a week in harsh conditions at one of Australia’s biggest recycling companies. In what has been described by the Australian Workers Union as a “national disgrace,” the workers were underpaid as much as $40,000 per year each while working up to seven days a week at Polytrade. Four of the workers, Tamil refugees, described a dangerous and hazardous environment, working in air thick with dust from crushed glass in poorly ventilated conditions... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Penny Rivlin 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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