Buddies Refugee Support Group

The Age, 5 May

Just two months ago, with the bruising fight over medical transfers of refugees from Manus and Nauru fresh in people’s minds, the Morrison government seemed chafing at the bit to fight the election on border security. But the topic is in eighth place as measured by research conducted on news stories, languishing at the bottom of the pack alongside foreign policy which typically gets ignored during elections.
   The Coalition’s warnings that hundreds of refugees would use the medical bill to come to Australia have not proved accurate. Nor have warnings the bill could restart the boats.
    However it seems the Christchurch massacre has led to a little bit of hesitance to use border security as an issue to campaign on according to the group who conducted the research. "Coalition strategists have had a rethink about the aggressive prosecution of the border security issue and adopted a change of tone" they concluded... more
Saturday 11 May, 11am
Multi-faith prayer service, Woodridge
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. 

Multi-faith prayer service

11am–12.30pm, St. Paul's Catholic Church, 3 St Paul's Drive, Woodridge
A prayer service will be held to express our sorrow and solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka.
View the map hereFor more information, please email Chris Miranda.

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

Refugee Week Community Film Festival

To celebrate Refugee Week SCRAN will be coordinating five different films at seven different venues over eight days, including one in particular to be hosted by Buddies on Monday 17 June. Most of the screenings will be free of charge. Full program next week. We are still looking for volunteers for the event at Nambour Community Centre so if you would like to help please email SCRAN.


– XXXX, on Twitter

PETITION UPDATE: In pain. In detention. And she's not yet 2...

Angela Fredericks, Biloela

Almost 185,000 people have signed this petition so far. Tharunicaa wasn’t even one when Border Force locked her family away in detention. Now inadequate medical care has left her in pain and unable to eat solid food. Please make a polite but persistent call to Immigration Minister Coleman. If you haven’t already signed, you can SIGN HERE.


Asylum Insight website

The 2019 federal election will take place in less than two weeks. The graphic and text attached describe the asylum and refugee policies of the Coalition, Labor and The Greens. This is an excellent and concise summary of the relative positions of the three parties.
View the chart here.

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

No proper process for asylum seekers?

Emilie Rouvroy, Head of Mission Greece, Médecins Sans Frontières
Emilie contends that there is no longer a proper process for refugees seeking asylum. She is critical of the EU Turkey deal and explains that nations erecting fences leads to asylum seekers being trapped with nowhere to go.

Family who faced deportation from Australia because of deaf son granted permanent residency

The Guardian, 5 May

A Bhutanese family are ‘just all so happy’ after they were granted permanent residency following a long legal battle. Pelden and husband Tshering and their sons Kinley Wangchuck, 18, and Tenzin, 17, were facing imminent deportation because of Kinley’s health issues. However now they have been given a last-minute reprieve by immigration minister David Coleman. The family have lived and worked in Australia since 2012, with Pelden studying and working in childcare and helping Kinley, who is deaf, to learn sign language and to receive care for his learning difficulties... more

PNG refugee support workers ‘directed to cook the books’ to prepare for Australian audit

ABC News, 5 May

Australia is currently spending more than $1 billion a year on services for around 1,000 refugees and non-refugees who remain in PNG. The PNG workers say their former employer was not equipped to implement a $44 million contract for the Australian Government. They claim they were asked to falsify documentation about their work with former Manus Island detainees to make it look like they were meeting government requirements. In some cases, they allege that staff employed to fulfil part of a $44 million contract were asked to write up files for clients they had not seen... more

Australia accused of failing to give medical care to two-year-old Tamil girl

The Guardian, 3 May

Tamil mother Priya has accused the government of not giving proper care to her youngest daughter. Photos and medical records reveal daughter Tharnicaa has suffered serious dental problems, culminating in an infection last week, but it was 10 months before she was taken to hospital, and detention staff were inconsistent and late with giving her medication. The Victorian children’s commissioner has described the case as “hard to fathom” and increased her calls for the government to urgently provide access to detention centres... more

Biloela community makes fresh moves to keep Tamil family in town after Sri Lanka terror attack

Catholic Leader, 2 May

Dozens of Biloela residents flew to Melbourne on 3 May  to stand in solidarity with the Tamil family taken from the community there. The church-bombing crisis in Sri Lanka has prompted the activists to step up their campaign for the return of the family. “In light of the horrific attacks and growing instability in Sri Lanka… it is now a matter of very urgent public interest that Priya, Nades and their two children be granted the right to remain safely in Australia,” the Bring Them Home to Biloela group said... more

Australia’s refugee intake will be frozen at current levels for three years under a coalition government

SBS News, 28 April

Refugee intake numbers will be capped at the current rate of 18,750 a year for the next three years if the coalition wins the May federal election.
PM Scott Morrison announced the cap in a direct challenge to Labor leader Bill Shorten, who plans to gradually lift the humanitarian intake to 32,000 a year. “We’re freezing the immigration levels at the level we’ve reduced them to. That’s because we’ve got to keep population growth under control in our big cities” Mr Morrison said... more

Behrouz Boochani: Medivac missteps rack sick refugees

The Saturday Paper, 27 April

Refugees on Manus and Nauru were given hope by the passing of the medivac bill, but the reality is just another layer of bureaucracy added to their lives. On the day that the bill was passed, more than 20 sick refugees were lying on Pacific International Hospital (PIH) beds in Port Moresby. They were hopeful that they would soon be transferred to Australian hospitals. Not only have they not been transferred, many of them have been discharged from the Port Moresby hospital without adequate treatment and put in a motel. They have been replaced by others from Manus... more

Refugee suicide attempts ‘epidemic’ on Manus Island

Radio NZ, 7 May 

Suicide attempts among refugees detained on Manus Island have reached epidemic proportions, refugee advocate Ian Rintoul says. Seven refugees have died on the island, three of suspected suicide. About 500 men remain in detention on the island. Back on Manus last week for the first time since September, Rintoul said the mental health crisis among refugees was becoming more acute. “The epidemic of suicide attempts among refugees on Manus is profoundly concerning,” he said. “Offshore detention is costing them their mental health and their lives”... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Penny Rivlin, Bill Stanford, 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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