Buddies Refugee Support Group
Your membership subscription goes towards staging community awareness events like market stalls and film nights etc. It's still only $10, so why not become a Buddies member NOW!
Nadesalingam and Priya Murugappan and daughters Kopika, 4, and Tharunicaa, 2

Canberra Times, 23 September

Tamil Refugee Council spokesman Aran Mylvaganam (pictured right) has said the Biloela Tamil family being held on Christmas Island has been told they won’t be going back to the mainland.
    “Priya is saying that she came from a war zone and regardless of how difficult it is, she’s able to put up with it," he said. “But it’s the children that she’s worried about – Kopika was constantly asking when the family would be able to leave Christmas Island. She isn’t coping well.”      
    Supporters want the family returned to their adopted home town of Biloela, but Peter Dutton's office has confirmed the family won't be returning to mainland Australia while their case is being determined. It's expected to be months before a trial decides whether younger daughter Tharunicaa's bid for a protection visa should be accepted by the Australian government... more
Monday 21 October, 5.15pm
Movie: Against our oath, Noosa 
Wednesday 23 October, 5.50pm
Movie: Against our oath, Nambour 
Saturday 26 October–Saturday 2 November
National Unity Week
Sunday 27 October, 11am, Sippy Downs
Buddies meeting. Guest speaker followed by members' business – agenda items to Paul McKinlay 0439 679 588. 12.30pm: Refreshments – please bring your own mug. Follow the signs to Car Park 4. View the map.
Wednesday 4 December, 7.30am
Bunnings sausage sizzle, Noosaville

Movie: Against Our Oath – the inside story to the Medivac Bill

5.15pm start, 5.50pm film, Noosa Cinema
SCRAN is proud to host the Queensland premiere of the film which will be followed by a Q&A with the Director, award winning film maker Heather Kirkpatrick. Tickets: $25 (includes light refreshments).

5.50pm, Majestic Cinema, Nambour.
Tickets: $20 adults, $13.50 students


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. 

I want kids to be kids, says leader of government jailing a 2- and a 4- year old.

– Ben Eltham, journalist and academic, on Twitter

Support Kamran’s refugee sponsorship to Canada


Kamran is a gay Iranian refugee who fled blackmailers who threatened to “out” him in Iran, only to be held in detention for six years on Manus Island. He’s university educated, has been teaching computer skills to fellow refugees on Manus, and aspires to continue his career in Canada. We’re supporting his application for private sponsorship there and have raised over $13,000 of the required $CAD18,000 so far. Help Kamran escape to a new life in Canada... MORE

PETITION TO SIGN: Genocide in Southern Cameroon

Join the voices of Southern Cameroonian refugees in Australia to condemn the ongoing violence in their homeland. Please take a minute to sign the petition to get the Australian Government and Parliament to URGENTLY INTERVENE to save the lives of women and children. Thank you for your support and for being the voice of the oppressed... SIGN
The Eumundi market carparking is one the most important of our fundraisers.

Please consider joining the team!

We have 2 volunteers already! and if another 2-6 Buddies can volunteer to help as a flag person or taking money at the gate, we can take on an extra session (4th Saturday of the month, 8-10am and 10am-12.30pm). This would generate an extra $2300 a year, alongside the almost $5000 from the 2 carpark slots on 1st Wednesday and Saturday of the month that Buddies trusty volunteers already help at.
    It is actually quite fun though it can be hot or wet (or both). Training is provided as well as umbrellas, hats, jackets and rainwear if needed. We get enquiries about what Buddies does as our name is advertised on the gate.
   Please email Penny Rivlin if you want more info and can spare a couple of hours to help.

We'd like your old phone please...

If anyone has upgraded their smart phone and would like to donate their ‘old’ one (and charger) please consider giving it to the men from Manus and Nauru who have been medevac’d to BITA in Brisbane. They arrive with the clothes they are wearing, need shoes, clothes, SIM cards and sometimes a phone to keep in touch with their scattered friends and family. Clothes appropriate for young men would also be appreciated. SMS Penny Rivlin, 0419 666 116 to organise a pick-up... Many thanks, Penny.

Scott Morrison is Australia's leading expert on causing anxiety in children.

– Nick McKim, Greens senator, on Twitter

REPORT: Festuri Multicultural Festival 2019

Gillian Duffy

The festival was once again a lively event, with dancers from Brazil to the Cook Islands, stall holders from Sudan and human rights activists from Cameroon, to name just a few of the cultures represented. SCRAN had a stall with volunteers from Amnesty and Buddies. Young people made posters with messages of support for the Biloela family, giving volunteers time to chat to parents... Read the full report

REPORT: Noosaville Bunnings sausage sizzle

Penny Rivlin

Our trusty volunteers were kept unexpectedly busy – huge thanks to all of them! We had fun chatting to our customers, some of whom gave donations, and some who wanted information about Buddies – so a bit of community awareness too, especially about the Biloela family stuck on Christmas Island at taxpayer’s expense. We made about $1000. And we can do it all again on Wed 4 December!

Why Manus leaves Australia compromised in the Middle East coalition

UNSW Newsroom, 19 September

Scott Morrison has announced that Australian forces will contribute to a US mission in the Strait of Hormuz. The PM’s statement invokes international law, in this case the Law of the Sea and safe navigation. It is paradoxical for him to call for respect for international law in relation to the Strait of Hormuz when asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru are being ignored. For the rules-based system of international law to work effectively, consistent commitment is required. States can’t pick and choose when to invoke international law on a particular issue and then ignore, contravene or decry it on other matters... more

Evicted and arrested: refugees in Indonesia under pressure in a 'desperate situation'

Overland, 16 September

Australians have kept their attention focused on Nauru and PNG but the impact of Australia’s border policies in Indonesia is thoroughly overlooked. In August 26 refugees were arrested in Makassar, Indonesia, after a peaceful demonstration in front of the Australian consulate. Around four hundred had gathered to protest against Australian border policies and their long stay in Indonesia. This is the sixth consecutive week of simultaneous protests in six cities across Indonesia. The demonstrators argue that refugees in Indonesia are ‘being singled out to serve as an example and a deterrent’... more

Australia looks to Canada on attracting migrants to regional areas

SBS News, 24 September

Population Minister Alan Tudge is inspired by Canada’s model of empowering provinces to nominate desired migration levels. Tudge wants to emulate Canada’s success in enabling new migrants to settle beyond the country’s biggest cities. “While there is no requirement for new immigrants to stay in the province that has nominated them, the evidence is that the vast majority stay in that province,” he said. He puts Canada's program's success down to offering migrants a strong welcome and support programs, a community network and help in finding work... more

‘Respected’ Melbourne doctor and wife to stand trial on slavery-related charges

ABC News, 22 September

A doctor and his wife have been committed for trial over slavery-related charges after allegedly forcing an Iranian asylum seeker to work at their bakery in Melbourne. Seyyed Farshchi allegedly prescribed opioids to the man to allow him to work extended shifts and was charged with conducting a business using forced labour. The magistrate described the complainant as a “simple and humble” man who “was vulnerable in his dealings with the defendants”, in particular with Farshchi who was “admired, respected and revered” in Melbourne’s Iranian community... more

Biloela family exposes hypocrisy of policy on Tamil refugees

Green Left, 22 September

Priya and Nades fled Sri Lanka under incredibly dire circumstances – Priya’s mother repeatedly sexually assaulted, her father beaten and blinded and her fiance burnt alive in front of her by Sri Lankan government forces. The Immigration Assessment Authority accepted her testimony but said she did not need protection, even though none of the perpetrators of these crimes have ever been punished. In fact they are still in power. Australia acknowledges the regime has committed mass killings of Tamils but at the same time is working with the same regime to stop Tamils seeking asylum... more


An interview with Hoda Ashlar

Radio NZ, 22 September

The world is not being allowed to forget the plight of abandoned asylum seekers on Manus Island, through the work of Melbourne-based Iranian-born artist Hoda Afshar. In April last year the filmmaker and photographer met former inmates of the notorious immigration detention centre. One of Hoda's black and white photographs of Behrouz Boochani – a Kurdish-Iranian journalist, writer and filmmaker with an intense gaze – took out Australia's most important photography award, the Bowness Photography Prize. Interviewer Lynn Freeman spoke to Hoda Afshar, via skype from Amsterdam, to find out how she came to care about the Manus asylum seekers... listen

When people smugglers were seen as heroes, and we welcomed the dispossessed

The Guardian, 14 May 2016

During World War II there were many ‘smugglers’ operating across Europe, appalled by the plight of the Jews and other  “Untermenschen”, forging documents and helping people cross borders illegally. They called them smugglers then too. But the implications of the term “smuggler” have taken a 180 degree turn in the 21st century. The term has been superceded by the addition of “people” as a prefix. “People smuggler” echoes “slave trafficker” and “sex trafficker”, though the latter – a far bigger, more morally urgent problem  – are not on our political to-do list... more
Thank you to Gillian Duffy, Penny Rivlin, Dee Williams 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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