Buddies Refugee Support Group
The high court has rejected a bid from the Murugappan family to hear an appeal on part of a full federal court judgment on the protection visa application of the youngest daughter.
    The Tamil family was put into community detention in Perth after public outcry over their plight when Tharnicaa was evacuated to Western Australia for medical treatment for a blood infection caused by untreated pneumonia.
    The family won a full federal court appeal in February, with the court upholding a ruling that the government’s handling of Tharnicaa’s visa application denied her procedural fairness. The court said it was “Kafkaesque” that the government failed to inform the family that a decision had been reached on whether to consider her application.
    The high court’s decision not to hear the appeal has been a disappointment for the Murugappan family; however, there are still legal processes underway, with a separate case being heard in the federal court in September... more

Justice for Afghanistan Rally

2-5pm, King George Square, Brisbane City
Stand in solidarity with the Queensland Afghan Community Association, as they call on our elected representatives to take actionable steps to support the Afghan people. The Australian government must commit to an additional humanitarian intake of at least 20,000 Afghan refugees, expedite the resettlement of interpreters and guides, and grant permanent protection to all those in Australia on temporary protection visas... more

‘Connections on King’, cnr Gloucester Rd & King St, Buderim
We now have only one director position to fill for 2021-22, so we are seeking NOMINATIONS (or expressions of interest) from any members who would like to fill this position.
  Directors are responsible for managing and directing the activities of Buddies. They meet once a month and the role is not onerous.
    For more information: Len 0419 664 524; Lynda 0416 878 431; Paul 0439 679 588 or Gaynore 0431 142 335.
** Please RSVP if you will be attending.
This is so we can find out if we will have a quorum before 11am on the day.

AND, don't forget to bring items to donate to Buddies' Romero Food Drive

Please help by donating any of the following items:
• basmati rice • cooking oil • honey • sugar • lentils • uht milk • coffee/tea • canned foods: tuna, tomato, corn, fruit • salt  • hand wash • dish wash liquid • razors • sanitary items • shampoo / conditioner • laundry powder • toothbrushes / toothpaste • toilet paper. Thank you.

I worked on the refugee Review Tribunal from 1995 until 2000.
I handled cases from Sri Lanka. In my judgment Nades and Priya should have been found to be refugees.

–  Bruce Haigh, Former Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, on Twitter
19-24 September


Kayla Szumer

Unfortunately, due to disruption caused by the recent lockdowns in SE Queensland, the upcoming Learn English Holiday program in September has had to be cancelled. The next one is scheduled for April next year, COVID permitting!

PETITION: Australia must provide safe passage to people fleeing the Taliban

Amnesty International

People from Afghanistan face unspeakable horrors at the hands of the Taliban. The Australian government needs to do everything it can to help those who are fleeing. You can make a difference by putting pressure on the Australian government to provide safe passage to people trying to escape the Taliban. Please take urgent action now... SIGN

PETITION: Bring our vulnerable Afghan families to Australia

With the closure of our Afghan Embassy the families of Australia’s local employees are in imminent danger of being attacked, imprisoned, tortured and killed by the Taliban or other fanatics. Please act immediately to offer them asylum. Bring them here at the same time as other Australian embassy staff... SIGN

VACANCY:  Funding & Grants Coordinator

This is a new role and the main duties would include grant writing (with free training/workshops offered). The role only gets activated each funding round (once or twice a year). We are seeking someone who wants to really make a difference – to help make Buddies more active, vibrant and resilient. More info: Lynda Utting, 0416 878 431.  


There will be no Bulletin on Friday 3 September. The next Bulletin will be issued on Friday 17 September.

New policy brief: 'Cruel, costly and ineffective: The failure of offshore processing in Australia’

Madeline Gleeson and Natasha Yacoub, Kaldor Centre

Offshore processing does not work, based on the government’s own data and its stated policy aims. Nor is it a benign failure – the human toll is evident but incalculable. Peruse this research on why offshore processing should be ended in Australia and not replicated anywhere... READ


Jill Horton

Put together by a group of young men from Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation... WATCH

VIDEO: Beautiful performance of Francisco Tárrega's Lágrima by Mehdi Ali

"In Spanish, Lágrima means tears.
"This piece was recorded in the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation, a place that is built from the tears, pain and endless suffering of human beings.
"I hope you enjoy this prelude"… WATCH

Plea for Afghans in Australia to be allowed to stay as rescue mission from Taliban planned

The Guardian, 14 August

The Australian government is facing pleas to allow Afghan nationals to stay in Australia when their visas expire, as Canberra separately plans a potential military mission to Afghanistan to rescue former employees fearing the resurgent Taliban.
    Videos of civilians being publicly beheaded or stoned, and of government soldiers handing over their weapons to the Taliban, are circulating online.
    Calls for more assurances to be provided to Afghan nationals currently in Australia on temporary visas are being made. Scott Morrison said the Taliban’s gains in Afghanistan were “not surprising” but were “concerning” and “very upsetting”... more

Australia to bring in 3000 Afghans in initial intake, but plans for more

Sydney Morning Herald, 18 August

At least 3000 Afghan refugees will be able to move to Australia in the next 10 months and the federal government is working on plans to bring in more, but PM Scott Morrison has not followed other countries in outlining a more ambitious long-term humanitarian commitment.
     Britain and Canada have both promised a humanitarian intake of 20,000 people over several years from Afghanistan, but Mr Morrison said, “there are no clear plans about that” for Australia to do the same number.
    He also said Australia will only be resettling Afghans who come through the “official humanitarian program”, in an apparent warning for people not to try to get to Australia on boats.... more

Covid in Sydney: Communities feel under siege as troops deployed

BBC, 8 August

Dai Le, a local councillor in Sydney, is speaking angrily about the deployment of 300 military personnel to the city’s streets this week.
    “If the objective was to frighten the hell out of the community, I can guarantee you they have done that.”
    Her constituency, Fairfield, is one of eight areas in Sydney considered the epicentre of Australia’s biggest Covid outbreak in a year.
    These poorer and ethnically diverse suburbs in Sydney’s west and south west are home to about two million residents. Many are considered essential workers in food, health and other industries... more

Afghan refugee may lose permanent residency in Australia – for supplying identity document

The Guardian, 8 August

A permanent resident of Australia – an Afghan refugee who has lived in Brisbane for a decade – has been threatened with having his visa cancelled and possible deportation, over an identity document the Australian government asked him to produce.
    ‘Nemat’ had been asked to provide a taskira – Afghanistan’s primary identity document – with his citizenship application. But he was then told his visa would be cancelled because the document, provided by the Afghan embassy in Canberra, could not be verified and might be counterfeit... more

UN urges Australia to release dangerously ill refugee who has ‘given up on living’ after eight years

The Guardian, 11 August

A dangerously ill refugee held within Australia’s immigration detention regime for eight years has secured an interim order from the UN human rights committee urging the  government to release him into the community.
    Kaveh is currently in a Melbourne hospital, emaciated and suffering a range of complex physical and mental health issues. Standing at 176cm tall, he weighs just 47kg.
    “I can’t stand another day in detention,” Kaveh said from hospital. “I am a sick person, I can’t heal in detention. I need freedom to heal”... more

Hundreds remain in limbo

My Weekly Review, 29 July

For those living in offshore detention, the unknown is becoming unbearable. After spending more than seven years on Nauru, a remote island just 21 km2 in area, Sahab Uddin is thinking about giving up.
    “Every single day my condition is very bad now: I don’t know what to do,” he says.
    Mr Uddin is one of 108 people still held on Nauru. Some 125 men remain in PNG.
    Mr Uddin was 25 and fleeing political conflict in Bangladesh when he boarded the boat that would land him on Nauru in December 2013. Now 33, he is beset by chronic pain that leaves him unable to sleep. 
    He believes he may have to return to Bangladesh, risking persecution and confronting a COVID-19 outbreak, just to get the medical treatment he needs... more

No way out?

Inside Story, 12 August

Twenty years — and many billions of dollars — later, Australia’s failed system of offshore detention lingers on.
    It’s twenty years since John Howard launched Australia’s policy of sending boat-borne asylum seekers to Nauru and Manus Island. Australia has since detained almost 6000 people there, many of them for years. By some estimates, the policy has cost Australia $26 billion.
    Indeed, to many Australians its sheer longevity suggests that offshore detention has always been this country’s way of dealing with asylum seekers. But the policy is facing its own crisis, and apparently crumbling from within, with no sign of a fresh, more humane and less expensive approach from either main political party... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Jill Horton, Penny Rivlin, Lynda Utting and Diana Woolley for their contributions to this edition.
Please send contributions for the newsletter to the editor. 

WEBSITE: Wendy Oakley

FACEBOOK: Anneliese Broadaway
Buddies is an independent community group based on the Sunshine Coast 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.
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 
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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