Buddies Refugee Support Group

SBS News, 16 May

Labor leader Bill Shorten said Wednesday that, if elected, his government would review the case of a Tamil family facing imminent deportation from Australia. On Tuesday the High Court denied the family's final bid to stay in the country.
     On Network 10’s The Project, Mr Shorten urged the government not to deport the family, who were living in the Queensland town of Biloela, before Saturday’s election.
     Nadesalingam, Priya and their two daughters have been in immigration detention since March last year and had launched a case to avoid deportation back to Sri Lanka, where they claim they’ll face persecution.  
     “If I get elected as prime minister on Saturday, I will ask my immigration spokesperson to review the matter because community sentiment matters,” Mr Shorten said. “If a community wants some people to live with them, why are we all making it so hard for that outcome?”... more
"Community sentiment matters. If a community wants some people to live with them, why are we all making it so hard for that outcome?"

– Bill Shorten, Labor leader, speaking on The Project
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
Starting in June, our monthly meetings will be held at University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), BUILDING E, ROOM 14. Free parking on weekends. 

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

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.

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.

Australia will be stronger when we measure decisions by how humane they are, give appropriate consideration to everyone, no longer put kids through this sort of nightmare.

– Craig Foster, Socceroo and Amnesty Refugee Ambassador, on Twitter

MAKE A PHONE CALL: David Coleman, let the Biloela family stay

Home to Bilo

Our family are to be deported. Now we need to channel our rage and disappointment into action – despair is not a strategy. Please, call Immigration Minister David Coleman – if he gets an avalanche of phone calls in support of our family, he won't let them be deported. Phone (02) 6277 7770 or (02) 9771 3400.  (Home to Bilo website)

Where does Buddies' money go?

Penny Rivlin, Finance Group

Buddies provides regular monthly contributions to Multicultural Development Australia (MDA), the Romero Centre and Communify in Brisbane. We also support individual refugees on an ad hoc basis with rental and other assistance. So please, keep up with helping – food/toiletries/ money in the Box, fundraising/car parking and spreading the word to support refugees! More detail here.

A letter of appreciation from the Romero Centre

"Dear Sunshine Coast Buddies,
"Please accept our deep and sincere gratitude for the amazing generosity, kind heart and support you have provided to the Romero Centre and its people seeking asylum. We have been truly moved by your donations and we have been overjoyed to see some of you face to face when you were dropping off goods to the Romero Pantry"… Read the letter in full

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.

Our politicians have taken us to a very dark place

Julian Burnside and David Marr discuss the use of fear in demonising asylum seekers and the obscene amount of money spent on damaging them. The race for the cruellest outcomes has meant that none of the outrages on Manus and Nauru have provoked a change of political heart or a move towards a positive bipartisan approach... WATCH


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.

The obscurity of consensus: Refugees in the Australian election

Independent Australia, 10 May 

Electioneering in Australia has had its good stretches of nastiness since the 1990s, when the issue of boat arrivals started becoming political gold for parties to exploit. Sabra Lane, moderating the last of three debates between Shorten and Morrison, tried to bring up the issue of what would happen to those currently held on Manus and Nauru. The response from Morrison has not altered for some time, a weasel effort suggesting an inner humanitarian keen to be constructive rather than punishing. But the core point, unflappable and unchangeable, was the policy of never resettling those who arrived illegally by boat on Australian territory... more

‘A little odd’: PM scoffs at Labor suggestions on refugee deal

New Daily, 9 May

Scott Morrison has mocked the opposition over Labor’s plan to send more refugees to the US. Labor’s deputy Tanya Plibersek has suggested the party wanted to expand a US-Australia refugee deal to ensure that everyone in offshore detention could be resettled. But Morrison said the deal was good enough as it is and that there were “hundreds” of spots available in the US to rehome some of the 900 refugees who remain on Manus and Nauru. As of April, more than 500 people have been sent to the US, which caps the number of resettled at 1250. When asked why more people had not been transferred, Morrison said it was complicated... more

Border security brought into election campaign by Dutton

The West Australian, 9 May

 Bill Shorten has said he congratulated Scott Morrison for stopping the boats – but would not allow the government to run a scare campaign over Labor’s refugee resettlement plans. Peter Dutton, who had previously been keeping a low-profile during the election campaign, has attacked Labor over its plan to resettle refugees on Manus and Nauru in third party countries, including New Zealand. “People smugglers are marketing New Zealand at this point and the Labor Party refuses to accept that,” Mr Dutton said... more

Behrouz Boochani: This election is an opportunity to vote for humanity and freedom

The Guardian, 15 May

Many Australians have tried to support the forgotten human beings on Manus and Nauru. However, a large part of Australian society have also been traumatised by this political program. Manus and Nauru are a part of Australia and have had a profound effect on Australia’s political culture and society. The current generation is not fully aware of this reality but, undoubtedly, in the future Australia will come to fully understand the consequences of this political strategy and its violent impact on the nation... more

We all know Peter...

The Guardian, 15 May

Many voters appear undecided on whether to extend Peter Dutton’s political life, as he faces a challenge from Labor’s Ali France. In Dickson there’s pride in the fact that Dutton represents this electorate in Canberra. But there was some bewilderment, and perhaps a bit of shame, attached to the leadership spill. GetUp has knocked on 12,000 doors. Ali France has been on the ground campaigning for 15 months. And yet with just days until the federal election, a huge swath of voters appear to be undecided, trying to weigh the policies and personalities, and the mountains of campaign material... more

Refugees settling in despite funding cuts

Bobwords, 10 May

While refugees and migrants have been welcomed into Australia’s rural communities, successive Budget cuts have made life difficult for refugee support services. Although not attracting too many headlines, a $50 million cut in the 2018-19 Budget, and another $77.9 million over four years in the 2019-20 Budget, means that organisations trying to help refugees with the transition to a new country, a new culture and a new language are left scrambling. The Refugee Council of Australia pointed out that the Budget found $62 million extra for Operation Sovereign Borders, while spending $50 million less on support services... more

Violet Roumeliotis: Refugees have no Plan B. We have to help them

Herald Sun, 2 May

"Confusing Australia’s humanitarian migration intake with the broader issues of border control and population policy harms our country’s reputation as a responsible global citizen. As I heard about Scott Morrison’s proposed freeze on Australia’s refugee intake during an impassioned call for greater control over who calls Australia home, I couldn’t help asking, why now? We live in a world with record levels of displaced people ― a world where the lion’s share of that burden falls on developing nations. I’m left wondering why a country like Australia with such a generous track record of refugee resettlement is going down this road"... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Paul McKinlay, Penny Rivlin, 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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