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Buddies Refugee Support Group
SBS NEWS, 9 JUNE 2021
The youngest daughter of the Tamil Biloela family detained on Christmas Island is fighting a serious blood infection caused by untreated pneumonia, supporters say.
     Three-year-old Tharnicaa and her mother Priya Murugappan were evacuated from the island on Monday evening, and the child suffered dangerous temperature spikes on the journey to Perth. Her mother says the girl was sick for almost two weeks, and that repeated requests for early hospital care were refused.
    Family supporter Angela Fredericks said the child has been diagnosed with a blood infection, resulting from “untreated pneumonia”.
    She says the child is now stable in the Perth Children’s Hospital, and is not in immediate danger. “They have said that it looks like she has untreated pneumonia that led to a blood infection,” Ms Fredericks said on Tuesday... more
SBS News: Biloela Tamil family cannot resettle in US or NZ, minister now says
The announcement comes despite senior government ministers identifying those countries as possible options earlier in the week.
COMING EVENTS
FRIDAY 11 JUNE

Vigil for Tharnicaa: Bring Tharni and her family home to Biloela now!

Refugee Action Collective Queensland

5:30 pm, King George Square, 100 Adelaide St, Brisbane
QLD-born Tharnicaa is turning four this Saturday. She has spent the vast majority of her life in detention. With a stroke of her pen, Minister Karen Andrews can release this family and let them go back to their home and community in Biloela. Please join us for this vigil for Tharni, and her family.... more
EVERY WEDNESDAY

Weekly Protest: End temporary visas

12 noon–1 pm, Department of Home Affairs, 299 Adelaide Street, Brisbane CBD
Asylum seekers and refugees are fighting for an end to temporary visas and to be granted permanent visas. Please come along and support this RACQ campaign as they share their histories and raise awareness about the torturous and inhumane effects of temporary visas on their lives... more
Refugee Week events
SATURDAY 19 JUNE

Free movie screening: Scattered people

presented by Welcome to Maleny as part of Refugee Week

5.30pm, Maleny RSL Hall, Bunya St Maleny
A free community event. Online bookings are sold out but limited walk-in seats will be available on the night. Doors open at 5:30pm when authentic Rohingya food will be available for purchase (cash only). Movie begins at 6:30pm, Q&A after the film with the directors, cast members and a human rights barrister.
SUNDAY 20 JUNE
FREE MOVIE SCREENING: Molly and Mobarak
3–5pm, St Marks Anglican Church, 7-Main St,  Buderim
Presented by Buddies as part of this year’s Refugee Week
Molly and Mobarak is the story of Mobarak Tahiri, a young Hazara refugee, who is living in the town of Young, in rural NSW. Categorized as an illegal immigrant by the Australian government, Mobarak was eventually granted a Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) that allowed him to live and work in the general Australian community and then return home once the visa expires. There he meets Molly...
    To be followed by a short discussion over tea/coffee and a snack. Free entry but donations appreciated. Light refreshments will be served.
SUNDAY 20 JUNE

Inaugural Romero Centre Welcome Walk

From 8am, starting at Orleigh Park, West End, Brisbane
No one should ever have to walk alone – the aim of the Welcome Walk is to bring attention to the thousands of long, exhausting, and dangerous journeys of people who have had to flee wars, persecution, or civil conflicts to seek safety and protection in Australia. The Walk will actively honour and respect everybody’s right to a safe refuge... more info

Sponsor Lynda's walk

Buddies Director Lynda Utting is fundraising for the Welcome Walk. She’ll be walking 6km on the day (World Refugee Day – Sunday 20 June). Says Lynda "My heart will be heavy as I remember the stories of the refugees who spoke to me and shared their harrowing stories in the past of them walking miles and miles – over the Syrian border (to escape ISIS) carrying just what they could carry – and many times that was just a small child – and nothing else...
Sponsor Lynda HERE.
SUNDAY 29 AUGUST

Buddies Annual General Meeting

11am, ‘Connections on King’, 2-10 Gloucester St, Buderim
It’s that time of year again – the Buddies AGM is coming soon, to be held as part of the regular general meeting.
Hear an inspiring guest speaker (to be announced), then if you want, take part in voting for Buddies directors and Finance Committee members. Now is the time to start thinking of who you’d like to nominate for these positions.

Buddies general meetings – dates for 2021-22

Now that regular face-to-face meetings have resumed it has been decided they will be held every TWO months on the last Sunday of each month.
    Dates for the rest of the year are as follows: 29 August AGM (we have to have an August meeting due to constitution requirements), 31 October and 5 December (traditionally we have a picnic on the first Sunday of December – we can incorporate our meeting with this). 2022 meeting dates will be 27 February, 24 April, 26 June, 28 August, 30 October and 4 December.

It is unbelivable that there is a country on this earth that the whole nation including PM, oppositions, TVs, Newspapers, people, and civil society busy with a debate about keeping innocent children in prison camps. Australia is hugely humiliating itself these days.

 
– Behrouz Boochani, author, journalist, academic, NZ resident, on Twitter

EMAIL MINISTER HAWKE: Bring this family home to Biloela

Home to Bilo support group

3 year old Tharni has been evacuated from Christmas Island to a Perth Hospital. According to support organisation Home to Bilo, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is considering allowing Tharni to apply for a visa. He can re-unite Tharni’s family and bring them home to Biloela. Please write a polite e-mail to Mr Hawke, in your own words... more

Vale Patrick Buick

We are sad to announce the death of one of our Buddies founding members, the very dear Patrick Buick. Patrick died on Monday 7 June after a long period of illness.
    Patrick was instrumental in the 2002 decision to give our fledgling refugee support group the name of Buddies and was a regular and enthusiastic attendee and contributor at our early meetings. Both he and wife Darcy maintained a strong interest in Buddies activities for many years, with Patrick a frequent chairperson and Darcy a regular note-taker at our monthly meetings. Many of you will no doubt have been touched by Patrick’s warmth and kindness over the years and will remember him fondly.
Patrick’s funeral is to be held at 11am on Wednesday 23 June at Drysdale Funerals Tewantin (27 Butler St). All Buddies who knew Patrick are welcome to attend.

Minutes from the Buddies general meeting (face to face), held on 30 May

Chairperson: Paul McKinlay & Minutes: Gaynore Stoessel
The minutes contain the following: Overview of guest speaker Narelle Matheson’s talk and Q & A, general business and the May 2021 Financial Report. READ HERE

VIDEO: ASRC 20th Anniversary – '20 Years of Hope'

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

ASRC was 20 years old on Wednesday. This is a video they have put together highlighting their journey over the time – from inception to the largest, independent human rights organisation in Australia providing support for people seeking asylum... WATCH

‘Discussions are happening’ to resettle refugees from Australia’s offshore regime in New Zealand

The Guardian, 4 June

New Zealand’s government is now in regular conversation with Australia about how to resettle refugees from Australia’s offshore detention regime – a significant step towards a resolution, advocates say, eight years after New Zealand first offered. Asylum seekers medically evacuated from Nauru and PNG may also be considered in move advocates describe as a massive step forward.
    A spokesperson for NZ immigration minister Faafoi said the ministry could not give details of the process “beyond the fact that discussions are happening, and that at the official level, we’re trying to work through what might happen to implement taking refugees subject to the NZ government’s usual processes of assessment”... more

Physicians call for Biloela family to urgently be released from detention

RACP, 9 June

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) is calling on the Federal Government to urgently release the Biloela family from detention and says Australia’s detention of refugees and asylum seekers continues to fly in the face of medical advice.
    Professor Catherine Choong, President of the RACP’s Paediatric and Child Health Division, said “We are calling for the urgent release of the Biloela family, and all refugees and asylum seekers currently being held in detention.
    “As medical experts, it’s clear that the mental and physical healthcare needs of asylum seekers and refugees are being neglected in Australia’s detention system.  
     “The reports that three-year-old Tharnicaa is seriously ill are terribly distressing... more

Last female refugee evacuated from Nauru could be returned

The Guardian, 6 June

The last remaining female refugee to be medically evacuated from Nauru to Melbourne is at risk of deportation back to Nauru, despite having ongoing medical conditions that cannot be treated in Nauru’s basic clinic.
   Ellie, a 34-year-old Iranian refugee imprisoned for six years offshore and more than 20 months in detention in Australia, was scheduled to be deported on 3 June, but this has now been put on hold amid the COVID outbreak in Melbourne.
    She is now in a state of limbo while the US resettlement process drags on and the Australian immigration minister has not granted a visa that would allow her to live in the community... more

Government ordered to pay asylum seeker for over two years of unlawful detention

The Guardian, 7 June

The government has been ordered to pay an Iraqi asylum seeker $350,000 in damages for unlawfully detaining him for more than two years, following a legal battle that could set a precedent for similar cases.
    The federal court has found the man had been unlawfully detained because Home Affairs was not pursuing the purpose of his detention, which was “removing him from Australia”, during that time.
    Alison Battisson of the group Human Rights for All which ran the case, said the judgment was “incredibly significant” because unlike other such detention cases, this case focused on the purpose of detention... more

Stuck in transit in Indonesia for seven years

Sydney Morning Herald, 24 May

The UNHCR estimates “only a small number” of the 13,745 refugees waiting in Indonesia will be resettled elsewhere.
    Farahnaz Salehi calls them the lost years. There have been seven of them for the 21-year-old Hazara refugee since she fled Afghanistan with her parents and her seven brothers and sisters in 2014, ending up in Indonesia.
    “We are stuck here and we cannot do anything,” she said from Cisarua, a mountainous district an hour’s drive outside Jakarta.
    Her family is among 14,000 living in limbo in Indonesia in a situation that has become increasingly desperate amid a rising rate of suicides... more

‘It’s enough’: Behrouz Boochani calls for decision on New Zealand resettlement offer

SBS News, 4 June

There are renewed hopes Australia may soon accept New Zealand’s offer to resettle 150 refugees after Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews confirmed discussions on the issue were continuing.
    Former Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani says the Australian government should urgently accept an offer from New Zealand to resettle 150 offshore refugees, many of who have spent eight years in immigration detention.
    The renewed calls come as Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said the government was in ongoing discussions with her New Zealand counterpart about resettlement options for several hundred refugees who were previously held in detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru... more

Australia’s abandoned refugees: nine years of exile in offshore purgatory

Open Democracy, 3 June

Many believe Australia’s offshore disaster in Manus Island and Nauru is over and all imprisoned refugees are now in safe countries. Nothing is further from the truth.
    According to official statistics there are 130 people still being held in Port Moresby and 110 people on Nauru. These are the last of the refugees banished eight years ago from Christmas Island to PNG under the 19 July 2013 policy, signed off by the prime ministers of both PNG and Australia.
    Former PM Kevin Rudd and his Labour government imposed this inhumane policy to ‘stop the boats’. Subsequent leaders – including Abbot, Turnbull, Dutton and Morrison – have all chosen to take cruelty towards innocent refugees to a whole new level... more
Thank you to Lisa McDonald, Gaynore Stoessel, Lynda Utting and Diana Woolley for their contributions to this edition.
BUDDIES BULLETIN – EDITORIAL POLICY
DEADLINE FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: 5pm Wednesday
Please send contributions for the newsletter to the editor. 

EDITOR / PRODUCTION: Wendy Oakley
WEBSITE: Wendy Oakley

FACEBOOK: Anneliese Broadaway
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ABOUT BUDDIES REFUGEE SUPPORT GROUP
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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