Buddies Refugee Support Group
Reza Rostami and his family are worried about their future under current rules.
Below right: Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow

ABC News, 17 July

The Department of Home Affairs has rejected dozens of recommendations made by the AHRC aimed at improving the lives of tens of thousands of asylum seekers living in Australia. Under rules aimed at deterring others from attempting to make such a trip, people who arrived by boat before 2014 face tight restrictions on the right to remain in Australia and access to financial support and other welfare.
    The Commission has urged the Government to relax restrictions and remove the ban on asylum seekers gaining permanent residency, but the Department has not accepted the recommendations.
    There are roughly 30,000 people living in Australia that are not eligible for permanent residency because they attempted to reach Australia by boat before 2014. They are often referred to as the “legacy caseload”.... more
Friday 9 August, 12.30–2pm
Talk by author Mark Isaacs, USC Sippy Downs
Sunday 25 August, 11am
Annual General Meeting, USC Sippy Downs
Saturday 7 September, 2-4pm
Learn English Holiday briefing meeting, Buderim
Friday 13 September – 8 November, 9am
Migrants Work Ready training, Maroochydore
Saturday 21 September, 10am–6pm
Festuri annual multicultural festival, Maroochydore
Sunday 22 September
Sausage Sizzle, Noosaville
Monday 23 – Friday 27 September
Learn English Holiday, Buderim
Saturday 26 October–Saturday 2 November
National Unity Week

Author Mark Isaacs talks about his book The Kabul Peace House

12.30-2pm, USC, Lecture Theatre 5
Join us for this seminar as Mark talks about his book, his experiences in modern Afghanistan, and the future of universal human rights. The Kabul Peace House shows us a portrait of modern Afghanistan that is deeply human and recognisable, and reminds us that even in the most challenging circumstances, hope, love and peace can flourish. More about his book below.

Trivia Night for Refugees

Refugee Action Collective Qld

6–9pm, New Farm Bowls Club, Brunswick St, New Farm
To raise funds for the Romero Centre. Questions start at 6:30, food and drinks are available at the Club. Adults: $22, concession/early bird: $17. Tickets available HERE.

Buddies Annual General Meeting

11am University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs
All welcome. This year we have the opportunity to elect four Directors as Lesley Willcoxson, Mitra Khakbaz, Shaye Yuill and Scott Grimmett are retiring. Paul McKinlay is continuing in the position. If you have never been to a Buddies AGM, the following information should be useful.
The AGM is coming up and a reminder that only paid up members are eligible to vote. If you have not renewed your membership we encourage you to do so now. Membership paid since 30 March is current until 30 June 2020.

Briefing for the September LEH program

2–4pm, Immanuel Lutheran College, 125 Wises Rd, Buderim
For more details please email

Migrants Work Ready training

9am–12 noon, Solbar, Ocean St Maroochydore 
In partnership with Sunshine Coast Council and other partners, this is a great opportunity for migrants who are ready for work to get extra training to understand the Australian workplace and to network with people who can help get a 'foot in the door'. See the attached flyer for more info and register on the address provided if interested.

Bunnings sausage sizzle fundraiser

7.30am–4.30pm, Bunnings Noosaville 
A fun way to meet other Buddies, and possibly spread the word about refugee support whilst hopefully raising lots of money towards Buddies’ work. If you can spare a couple of hours to help, please email Penny Rivlin or Lesley Willcoxson. There will be another sizzle on Wednesday 4 December if you can't make it to this one!

September Learn English Holiday program

Immanuel Lutheran College, 125 Wises Rd, Buderim
If you’re interested in participating this year as a homestay host, volunteer driver or in any other volunteer position, please email

The Australian government claims that if they accept New Zealand's resettlement offer the boats will start coming. So why didn’t the boats start coming to Australia when they had a deal with the USA? 

– Shamindan, Manus detainee, on Twitter


Kendall Snowden and Wendy Oakley

Not quite the full $12000 but getting close! A fabulous effort on everyone's part and a huge thank you if you have contributed – our family have been amazed at your generosity. There's still time to donate however, and if you've already donated please continue to share the Chuffed website with friends... DONATE

PETITION TO SIGN: End indefinite limbo for refugees in Indonesia!

Refugee Action Coalition Sydney

In November 2014 Scott Morrison announced that asylum seekers registered with UNHCR in Indonesia after 1 July 2014 were no longer eligible for resettlement in Australia. As a result some 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers have been in limbo in Indonesia for five, and even up to 10 years. They survive on a few dollars a day, have no right to work or to access Indonesia’s health or education systems… SIGN

The Refugee Medical Transfer Support team

Buddies now donates to this group of volunteers which tracks the arrival of the men from Manus and Nauru for medical treatment in Brisbane. One of the team has visited Manus and has met them all. The men are sent to hospital, BITA or other accommodation deemed suitable. Since Christmas the group has provided clothing for 90 men, and SIM cards and top-ups for 125. They also give contacts for other help as needed.

WANTED: Old mobile phones with chargers

Penny Rivlin

Phones are needed for new arrivals who have come to Australia under the Medevac regime and need to communicate with home and the outside in general.
If you can help please contact Penny,  0419 666 116. Penny will be at the AGM if there are any folk who want to bring their old phones instead of giving them back to Telstra etc.

Request for help with transport, 17-18 August 

Kristi Nageli (ex Buddies secretary)

At the last LEH I extended an open invitation to my Burundi friends to visit anytime, and they would like to come up from Brisbane on 17 August. However I only have one car and 6 people are coming! Would anyone be willing to hang out with us on Saturday and help with transport? Probably going to Cotton Tree/Maroochydore Plaza area, but would prefer to go to Noosa if we could. The family is super nice and speak excellent English, so it's easy to spend time with them! For more info, please call Kristi, 0434 086 995.

Poetry Prize 2019 – win a $1000 prize

Ballina Region for Refugees, supported by Southern Cross University

Entries close Sunday 18 August.
Poems of up to 50 lines on the theme ’seeking asylum’. The prize celebrates the positive contribution refugees make to our communities and acknowledges the circumstances that forced them to flee their homelands. Entry form and submission guidelines View the flyer.

About the Romero Multicultural Hub

At the last Buddies meeting our guest speakers were Ruby and Hui, who spoke of the work done by this Brisbane organisation. The Romero Centre supports more than 900 people and families from 40 countries who are seeking asylum or living as refugees in Queensland, across 130 suburbs throughout Brisbane and Logan, and provides over 200 case work appointments per month. Buddies is a regular contributor to Romero's food drive… View the flyer.

Destitute refugees In Indonesia show Australia must lift ban on resettlement

New Matilda, 2 August

Australia’s refugee scandal is not just limited to the islands of Manus and Nauru. A lesser known humanitarian crisis of Australia’s making is the more than 14,000 refugees stuck in Indonesia – some for over a decade. Like on Manus and Nauru, interminable waiting without basic rights has caused a mental health epidemic, driving some refugees to suicide. Many others have died from treatable diseases. Australia is directly responsible for this limbo. Coalition MPs boast that they’ve militarily blocked the sea route from South Java to Christmas Island. Less publicised is Scott Morrison’s brutal (and one might say un-Christian) freeze on resettling refugees who registered with UNHCR in Indonesia after July 1 2014... more

LGBTIQ Australians pressure Qantas on refugees

QNews, 5 August

Prominent LGBTIQ Australians have joined a campaign pressuring Qantas to stop forced deportations of asylum seekers from Australia. The Department of Home Affairs uses Qantas to transport asylum seekers between detention centres and for involuntary deportations. But refugee advocates say the Australian system for assessing asylum claims for asylum doesn’t meet international standards and Qantas risks being complicit in returning asylum seekers to persecution or harm. A number of well known LGBTIQ figures have backed the Stop Deportations to Danger campaign, signing an open letter. The letter reads: “Australia has a brutal and inhumane refugee and asylum seeker policy which destroys lives, including those of children"... more

Exclusive: Government quietly relaxes controversial visa policy affecting people with disabilities

SBS News, 5 August

Applicants with permanent medical conditions or disabilities will no longer be assessed in terms of their lifetime care cost, in a move that migration agents and human rights workers say is a step towards reducing discrimination in the immigration system. A controversial migration requirement that results in more than 15 people with disabilities or illnesses having their Australian visa application rejected each year has been quietly relaxed by the government after decades of campaigning by disability and immigration advocates... more

Public servant loses free speech High Court case over tweets criticising asylum seeker policy

MSN, 7 August

A former public servant at the centre of a landmark free speech case has lost her High Court fight, after arguing her sacking for sending anonymous tweets critical of the Federal Government was unreasonable. Michaela Banerji argued she had been unlawfully fired in 2013, from what was then the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. She had operated the Twitter profile LaLegale, which frequently posted opinions critical of the Australian Government, its immigration policies, and its treatment of immigration detainees... more

Cafe Sunshine helping asylum seekers find work in Australia

Star Weekly, 6 August

Cafe Sunshine has partnered with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre to give jobs to new arrivals who are struggling to get their first job in Australia. Co-founders Jen Morillas and Hamed Allahyari decided to open the cafe after volunteering with the ASRC. The cafe opened with the help of the state government’s Pick My Project grant last year. “Our goal from the get-go has been to employ ASRC members,” she said. “We aim to have the place 100 per cent run by refugees and asylum seekers as soon as we can.” Ms Morillas said the Sunshine community had been incredibly supportive... more

My family arrived here as refugees 80 years ago. It was different then

The Age, 29 June

It’s difficult and painful to try to marry my grandparents’ refugee experience with this week’s gruesome images of desperate people on Manus Island. They came on a boat, landing late at night. Home was far away and they knew there was no going back. Their homeland was on the brink of war. But they must have wondered what came next. They had been at sea for weeks. They spoke little English. They had some money and, vitally, friends of friends on their case. The parents both were professionals in their own country, both architects, but knew their credentials would not be recognised here. They would be starting again from scratch... more

'The land where we lived has gone’ – the life story of a Rohingya refugee

The Guardian, 4 August

As a young man Habiburahman fled oppression in his native Myanmar and lives, stateless, in Australia. Now he has written a book about his struggle – and his suffering people. “I am three years old and effectively erased from existence” he writes in his book First, They Erased Our Name: A Rohingya Speaks. There has been much written about the Rohingya people of Myanmar, But little has been written from the point of view of a Rohingya growing up in Myanmar – the daily humiliations, the struggle for survival, the fear, the stories whispered through generations to ensure they are not lost... more
Thank you to Tayla Bostock, Andrea Douglas, Gillian Duffy, Scott Grimmett, Kristi Nageli, Penny Rivlin, Kendall Snowden, 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, University of the Sunshine Coast, Building E, Ground Floor Room 14.
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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