Buddies Refugee Support Group
Iranian refugee Amin Abofetileh and wife of three years Kate Yang, with 18-month-old daughter Liberty

ABC News, 10 March

Babies born to refugees and local women on Manus Island face an uncertain future if their fathers are transferred to other countries. The children are covered under the medevac bill and could be transferred to Australia as ‘legacy minors.’ 
     When the detention centre was closed in 2017, the refugees and asylum seekers were moved into Manus’ main town, Lorengau. Many of the men formed relationships with local women – some fleeting and some long-term – and dozens resulted in children.
     As some refugees are resettled in the United States and others have the possibility of a medical transfer to Australia, the children’s future remains unclear... more
Saturday 16 March, 9am
Amnesty Social Lab workshop, Sippy Downs
Saturday 23 March, 10am–3pm
Harmony Day, Maroochydore

Sunday 24 March, 11am
Buddies meeting, 24 King St, Buderim. 11am: Members' business – agenda items to Scott Grimmett 0427 364 802. 11.45am: Guest speakers. 12.30pm: Refreshments.
Saturday 30 March
Learn English Holiday orientation morning, Buderim
Sunday 7 – Friday 12 April
Learn English Holiday, Buderim
Sunday 14 April
Palm Sunday rally and march, Brisbane
Sunday 28 April, 8am
Bunnings Sausage Sizzle, Noosaville

Amnesty 2019 Social Change Lab

9am, University of the Sunshine Coast
Are you passionate about human rights and want to be a social change activist? Then join us for this weekend of workshops. The aim is to provide you with valuable campaigning skills, hear from a range of guest speakers, and an opportunity to meet other amazing activists. You do not need to be a member of Amnesty to attend… more


10am–3pm, Cotton Tree Park, Maroochydore
The Sunshine Coast Voices of Harmony event will create a ‘global village’ for the community to connect through song, story, dance, food, traditional games, activities and customs. SCRAN will have a stall with Buddies – anyone who would like to volunteer to help out with the stall please email Diana Woolley ... View the flyer

Learn English Holiday program – April teachers’ training/orientation morning

9.30am, Matthew Flinders Anglican College
For anyone interested in helping at our April program. We will meet in the College Chapel, check out the rooms we’re going to use and go over the week's program so that you can work out how best you can help. You are free to come and go over the course of the program. For more info, or if you are interested but can’t come that morning, please email your interest to Margaret Norris or  Lesley Willcoxson.

Learn English Holiday

Matthew Flinders Anglican College
The LEH program comprises six days on the Sunshine Coast – accommodation free with Buddies Homestay – and five days of English classes with outings to beach and local attractions.
For information on hosting and/or driving support, contact Kayla at

Bunnings sausage sizzle

8am–4pm, Bunnings Noosaville
Bunnings sausage sizzles are a great fundraiser for Buddies. Come along and enjoy a sausage and a chat.

Dear Scott & Bill, we've strayed from our values. I call for Australia’s treatment of refugees to abide by international obligations we demanded of others. We saved Hakeem now let’s save ourselves.

– Craig Foster, retired Soccaroo, on Twitter

DONATE: Julian Burnside’s run for parliament

My name's Julian, and I will be campaigning to end the major parties’ cruel and internationally condemned offshore detention regime. Australia is a kind and compassionate country, yet we have been subjected to decades of a corrosive debate, acting as though offering support for people who need it is an intractable problem. Donate to my campaign and help build a future for all of us… more

Report: Screening of Border Politics, 6 March

At this sold-out screening of the Border Politics documentary which follows Julian Burnside as he traverses the globe, SCRAN organisers were heartened by the strong community response with over 150 tickets sold. The need to continue to reach a new audience remains critical in the lead up to the federal election, and while so many people’s lives are still in limbo on Manus Island and Nauru… read the full report.


The Romero Centre is out of stock of some food items (view the list). Your help, no matter how small, is most appreciated. More info and drop off points can be viewed here. Thank you!

Report: meeting with Minister Stirling Hinchliffe

Angela Mercuri, 12 March

Several SCRAN members had a very productive and energizing meeting with Minister Hinchliffe, the Minister for Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs, while he was visiting the Coast, informing him of SCRAN’s campaign to have the Sunshine Coast Local Government Area declared a Refugee Welcome Zone (RWZ)... read the full report.

Report: Avocado picking fundraiser for Buddies

Kendall Snowden and Yokki Rother

After our second pick in Scott’s orchard we have now sold 80 more bags at $5 each, and passed $900 in total! We sold at the Border Politics film night (20), Matthew Flinders Anglican (20), Nambour State College (10), downtown Yandina shops (10) and Oriana Choir rehearsal nights (20). Special thanks to Bronwyn and Thene Bell for your help picking!

Refugee footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi ‘very grateful’ to be an Australian citizen

SBS News, 13 March

A month after the footballer was freed from Bahrain’s extradition charges, Hakeem Al-Araibi can now call Australia home. Hakeem has become an Australian citizen after a ceremony in Melbourne. The Bahrain-born player took the oath at Melbourne’s Federation Square on Tuesday along with 200 others from 44 different countries. After enduring months of peril, Hakeem al-Araibi says he finally feels safe.  “I am very happy to get citizen. Finally no country, no one can follow me now because I am Australian,” he said... more

Worst ever minister: Asylum seekers jet in under Dutton’s nose

Sydney Morning Herald, 9 March

Australia has had some great immigration ministers, and none without their flaws. But they all shared three positive attributes – they publicly explained how their approach to immigration furthered the national interest; they focused on maintaining an orderly program and understood the importance of promoting social cohesion. Peter Dutton has failed on all of these measures and must qualify as our worst immigration minister, a role he held until last August. As Home Affairs minister, he continues to carry ultimate responsibility for the immigration portfolio... more

A decade in detention: refugees face indefinite time on Christmas Island

Sydney Morning Herald, 10 March

When the Morrison government finally closed the Christmas Island detention centre last year, it became the 18th immigration detention facility proudly shuttered by the Coalition. Just a few months later, it is back open for business – and is set to become a long-term feature of Australia’s immigration detention network once again. Detailed cost breakdowns show the Morrison government expects to hold refugees and asylum seekers there for up to four years – by which time they would have spent a decade in detention... more

UN human rights chief blasts PM’s Christmas Island plans

SBS News, 8 March

The UN’s leading voice on human rights has criticised Australia’s refugee policies, specifically condemning plans to reopen Christmas Island detention centre. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has used an address to highlight rights abuses around the world, with Australia making the list. “The office has raised concern with Australia about the imminent transfer of migrants on Manus Island and Nauru to new detention centres,” the former president of Chile said. “These people have been suffering for more than six years. More humane policies could and should be implemented.”... more

‘Give them a chance’: employing refugees not as complicated as many think

The Guardian, 11 March

Many Australian employers mistakenly assume hiring refugees is fraught with challenges. But a new guide outlines the benefits of hiring a refugee, including documented high loyalty and lower turnover rates. Australia’s visa system is complicated at the best of times. For many employers looking to hire, understanding the various work rights and time periods of different refugee and asylum seeker visas proves too difficult. Recent changes in legislation and policy taking away or changing peoples’ entitlements on the visas has only added to the confusion... more

Mungo McCallum: ScoMo – the human border wall

EchoNet Daily, 10 March

‘When the people smugglers see me, they see a brick wall,’ boasted our great war leader. Well, up to a point: they certainly see someone as thick as a brick and far less transparent and straightforward. His half hour on Christmas Island was not the most expensive photo opportunity on record, but unquestionably the most pointless. Not only did ScoMo have nothing to announce – he had absolutely nothing to say, other than the obligatory swipe about how Bill Shorten was endangering the nation. Perhaps just as well, because the true cost of his vicious and optimistic campaign to persecute asylum seekers is now starting to emerge... more

Greens propose private sponsorship of refugees as they target inner-city seats

The Guardian, 7 March 

The Greens are targeting three Melbourne seats to capitalise on the Coalition’s perceived weakness with liberal progressives on refugees. They will propose private citizens should be able to sponsor refugees to boost Australia’s humanitarian intake by 10,000 as part of a push to target Melbourne lower house seats. The Greens will launch their refugee policy with a series of contentious demands opposed by the major parties including a seven-day time limit before asylum seekers are released from onshore detention and a royal commission into immigration detention... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Margaret Norris, Penny Rivlin, Kendall Snowden, Bill Stanford, Kayla Szumer 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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