Buddies Refugee Support Group

The Age, 26 March

According to multiple informed sources, in early 2014 Scott Morrison asked the Abbott government’s expenditure review committee for $9–$10 billion over four years to finance a mass detention plan. There were about 30,000 people in that situation in Australia at the time, and possibly subject to detention under the proposal. 
     A spokesman for the PM said Mr Morrison claimed he had no recollection of such a proposal. But according to multiple former and current ministers and officials, Mr Morrison put forward the proposal to be included in the 2014 federal budget. One argument in its favour was that this policy would serve as a deterrent to any further asylum seeker boats arrivals, operating in conjunction with the military-led program Operation Sovereign Borders.
    However Mr Morrison’s proposal was opposed by then-treasurer Joe Hockey, who apparently “hit the roof”... more

Saturday 30 March
Learn English Holiday orientation morning, Buderim
Sunday 7 – Friday 12 April
Learn English Holiday, Buderim
Monday 8 April, 12 noon
Law Out Loud seminar, Sippy Downs
Tuesday 9 April, 6pm
Noosa Welcomes Refugees dinner, Noosaville
Sunday 14 April
Palm Sunday rally and march, Brisbane
Sunday 28 April, 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.

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

Law out loud! international law seminar – Enslavement as a crime against humanity

12 noon, University of the Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre
Some doctrinal, historical and theoretical considerations, presented by Dr Edwin Bikundo, Griffith University

Noosa Welcomes Refugees dinner with guest speaker Jason Scanes

6pm, Raj Indian Restaurant, Noosaville
Jason is now the ALP candidate for Wide Bay. You may remember him camping outside Dutton's office in support of his Afghan translator's asylum claim. An opportunity to ask questions about ALP refugee policy and make our views known. $30 a head, limited seating, booking essential, email HERE • About JasonView the flyerNews article

Irony: Morrison refuses to let Nauru refugees be sent to NZ allegedly because it’s a back door way for what Dutton claims are "murders and terrorists" to get to Australia. Meanwhile an Australian...

– Michael Pascoe, journalist, on Twitter

CROWDFUNDING: Sail for justice

We are sailing up the east coast of Australia ending at Manus Island, approximately 3300 nautical miles, to draw attention to the plight of refugees in offshore detention and to let the people on Manus know that they are not forgotten. We also want to pay our respects to the traditional owners of Manus Island caught in the crossfire of Australian politics… more
If you haven't already signed our REFUGEE WELCOME ZONE petition, you can sign HERE.

VIDEO SERIES: The Burnside Conversations

This is a digital series that features Julian Burnside in conversation with key Australian and global thinkers on the matter of asylum and current threats to human rights, expanding on views expressed in his feature length documentary Border politics

BOOK REVIEW: Munjed Al Mederis Going Back

Munjed's new book is once more a journey, but this time in taking him across the world on a quest to save others rather than himself. In his bestselling memoir Walking Free, he described his experience as a refugee fleeing Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and his early work as a pioneering orthopaedic surgeon. In his new book, Going Back, Munjed shares the extraordinary journey that his life-changing new surgical technique has taken him on… more

REPORT: SCRAN stall at Harmony Day 

Gillian Duffy, 23 March

Harmony Day at Cotton Tree Park was a truly multicultural event with singing, dancing, drumming, stalls and a fashion show, all representing countries from around the globe. SCRAN had a bright and inviting stall which had plenty of customers, including children who were encouraged to take part in a poster making competition… read the full report

WANTED: Volunteer hosts &/or drivers for the Buddies Learn English Holiday program

Matthew Flinders Anglican College, 7–12 April
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

Minutes and finance reports 2019

The minutes from Buddies February meeting (including the finance report) can be accessed HERE. (Our apologies for the late availability!) The minutes from the recent March meeting can be accessed HERE

 Government faces first test under new refugee medical transfer laws

The Age, 20 March

The Morrison government faces its first test under the new medical transfer regime after doctors signed off on applications that are now sitting with refugee lawyers. Progress under the new system has been far slower than anticipated by the government, which predicted hundreds of refugees would be sent to Australia within weeks of the bill receiving royal assent. That occurred three weeks ago but no applications have yet been sent to the department for consideration. Meanwhile, the government has transferred a large number of refugees to the mainland for medical treatment under the old system... more

Former Nauru president’s dying wish is to end offshore processing

SBS News, 20 March

Former Nauru president Sprent Dabwido has been given just weeks to live. Despite once approving the offshore processing of refugees, Sprent Dabwido – who has terminal cancer and is receiving treatment in Australia – says he now wants to see an end to the practice and has called for an end to the offshore processing of refugees,. In 2012, Sprent Dabwido struck a deal with then-Australian prime minister Julia Gillard for his impoverished island nation to once more be used for offshore processing, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars... more

Former asylum seeker deported from PNG arrested after returning to Manus Island illegally

ABC News, 18 March

A former asylum seeker who was deported from PNG has been arrested again after returning to Manus illegally by boat. Helal Uddin, from Bangladesh, bought a boat in Indonesia and returned by sea to Manus Island almost four months ago. Mr Uddin said he was held for days without food by police. He said he had been living on Manus Island for four months before being arrested. Locals said he was a popular member of the community. He said he was desperate to see his Papua New Guinean wife, Alice, and young son, Mohammed, who he had been separated from for nine months... more

Kenyan man with Australian family to be deported after being called in for visa interview

The Guardian, 25 March

The wife of a Kenyan man due to be deported from Perth is lobbying the government for him to be able to stay in Australia. John Mbuthia Mwangi, 31, was handcuffed and taken into immigration detention in February after being called in for an appointment with his Home Affairs case manager. Mwangi said he was told the appointment with immigration was to confirm that his application for an extended bridging visa had been accepted, but was also told to ensure his family remained at home. “It was a set-up,” he said. “He could have told me: you are coming in to be detained”... more

Somalian-born student’s long journey to become teacher strikes latest obstacle

ABC Radio, 25 March

Hassan Nur Hussein arrived in Australia aged 15 knowing just a few words of English which he had picked up in a Kenyan refugee camp. Born in Somalia, he had run away from his extended family who refused to let him go to school, and found his mother who is a refugee in Australia. Three years later, and after an intensive English-language course, Hassan became school captain at Melbourne’s Wyndham Central College. He is now 19 and completed high school. He wants to become a teacher, but despite securing a university place, he’s facing the prospect of not being able to pay for it... more

Satire: “I’d never attack immigrants for political points!” says guy who just opened a detention centre for political points

The Chaser, 20 March

Prime Minister (correct as of time of publication) Scott Morrison has today hit back at claims that he had once suggested the Liberal Party run a scare campaign against Muslim immigration, stating that any and all such allegations were a lie. “I never said anything of the sort,” said Morrison, stepping off a plane on Christmas Island, “I love Muslims and I love migrants. Now if you’ll all look to the left you’ll see the new state of the art cages we’ve built to house those evil muslim migrants who are trying to break into our country”... more

Shamindan Kanapadhi: An open letter from Manus to Minister Dutton concerning the Medivac Bill

The Overland, 19 March

"How in all conscience can you continue to humiliate and dehumanise severely ill refugees in your own political thirst for power? You continually use hate speech in order to prevent due justice to be given to us. We are not responsible for hospital bed shortages. We are dangerously ill only because many treatable illnesses have not been given adequate medical attention for years. Mr Dutton, we don’t have the energy or cynicism required to invent symptoms or exploit Australia. All we have ever wanted was safety and the opportunity to be fully functioning members of the world... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Angela Mercuri, Margaret Norris, 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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