Buddies Refugee Support Group

SBS News, 13 July

Kurdish journalist and Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani has said most of the men remaining in offshore immigration detention centres don’t actually want to come to Australia. Speaking via video call from PNG last week, Boochani told a La Trobe University event in Melbourne that the men “just want to get off this island”. 
     “The [refugee advocates] say ‘bring them here’ but most of the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru don’t want to go to Australia,” he said. “The government always says ‘these people want to come to our country’ but we don’t want ... to go to Australia. So, just let us go.”
     Mr Boochani said there were 370 asylum seekers remaining on the PNG island, 70 of which, he said, have already been accepted by the US. On Nauru, he said, 60 men had also been accepted by the US and are waiting to fly, which would leave approximately 200 men there... more
Friday 19 July, 4.30pm
Vigil for refugees still held on Manus and Nauru, Buderim
Saturday 20 July, 2pm
Rally: Six years too long, Brisbane
Tuesday 23 July, 9.30am
Free training: Communicating across cultures, Nambour 
Sunday 28 July, 11am
Buddies meeting, USC. 11am: Guest speaker followed by members' business – agenda items to Scott Grimmett 0427 364 802. 12.30pm: Refreshments – please bring your own tea/coffee mug. Follow the University signs to Car Park 4. View the map.
Saturday 26 October–Saturday 2 November
National Unity Week

VIGIL: for refugees still held on Manus and Nauru

4.30 pm, St Mark’s Anglican Church, 7 Main St, Buderim
Arrival from 4.30pm to prepare candles for the tolling of the bells to begin at sunset (just after 5pm). Spread the word so that we can continue to witness to the plight of these innocent people... View the poster.
PLEASE NOTE: Event begins at 4.30 pm, not 5.30.

Six Years Too Long – Close Manus & Nauru

2-4pm, Queens Park, Brisbane CBD 

Hosted by Refugee Action Collective Queensland

Speakers include: Shamindan, Manus refugee from Sri Lanka (via phone). 
   The re-election of the Morrison government is a setback for refugees, but Morrison has no mandate for anti-refugee racism, and his government can and must be fought. We need to take to the streets, now more than ever. This is a national event… more

Free training: Communicating across cultures

9.30am–1pm, Nambour Community Centre  
Specifically for small not for profit organisations, groups and volunteers, and aiming to support community groups to welcome people from diverse cultural backgrounds (from a communications and cultural perspective) as potential members, volunteers and committee members. Morning tea provided. View the flyer


non-perishable food and toiletries for the Buddies Food Drive which assists asylum seekers in the community in Brisbane via the Romero Centre. Items such as rice, UHT milk, coffee, shampoo etc gratefully received.
Items requested & drop-off points


Kendall Snowden and Wendy Oakley

Now over $8000 of our $12,000 target, and 30 days still to go. A huge thank you to everyone who has donated – the response has been fantastic. Please consider donating if you haven't already. If you've already donated please share the Chuffed website with friends... DONATE

20 July marks 6 yrs of people held indefinitely offshore without medical care or hope of freedom or a permanent home.

– Kon Karapanagiotidis, ASRC CEO, on Twitter

iView: The Eyes Have It

Iranian photographer Hoda Afshar's experience of migration to Australia has re-defined her relationship with Iran, Islam and her art. Her portrait of author/refugee Behrouz Boochani won last year's Bowness Photography Prize. The later section of this program contains some substantial material on Behrouz and Manus (from about 20min 30sec)… WATCH

Book review: Losing Santhia by Ben Hillier

To be released on 27 July
After the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009, Santhia and her infant son fled to Tamil Nadu then tried to reach Australia in 2017, but she died in a Jakarta hospital, aged just 42. Sponsored by the Tamil Refugee Council, author Ben Hillier travelled to Indonesia and Sri Lanka in the month after Santhia’s death to piece together her life. However she appears mainly in fragments during the broader narrative of the rise and fall of the Tamil Tigers.… more

FACTSHEET: What makes a good advocate?

Refugee Council of Australia

The purpose of advocacy is to change laws, policies, attitudes, and the allocation of resources. There are many different types. These include: individual advocacy which focuses on helping individuals get access to existing services; collective advocacy which aims to change policies in order to create services that do not yet exist; and public advocacy which strives to influence public attitudes...more

Australia’s Orwellian anti-refugee system hints at what’s to come for climate refugees

The Guardian, 16 July

If you want to imagine the politics of the future, think about climate refugees. This week the ABC published internal briefing notes from the Australian Defence Force warning about huge population flows spurred by environmental disasters, with former defence force chief Chris Barrie saying he once estimated the number at 100 million people. Already catastrophic weather forces some 24 million from their homes each year. If we don’t do anything now, the burden will be heaped upon the poor and weak... more

Seven Nauru refugees leave for US resettlement

RadioNZ, 10 July 2019 

Seven refugees were due to leave Nauru on Wednesday for resettlement in the United States. The refugees – from Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka – have been detained by Australia on the island for nearly six years. They’ll be resettled under a deal struck by Canberra with the former Obama administration in 2016, bringing the total to around 580 -- well short of the 1,250 agreed to under the deal. The head of Australia’s Refugee Action Coalition, Ian Rintoul, says the Australian government is running out of options for offshore resettlement... more

Asylum seeker's family demands answers of Australia

Sydney Morning Herald, 17 July

The devastated family of 23-year-old Abdul Aziz, the young Afghan asylum seeker who died at MITA on the weekend, says the government took four days to inform them of his death. He had been in detention for more than two years. While some of his fellow detainees suspect suicide, authorities have not yet been able to identify a cause of death. The man's family learned of his death through word of mouth, with fellow detainees telling members of the Afghan community in Australia, who then told the family… more

Fifteen-month-old girl held in immigration detention since birth hospitalised

The Guardian, 17 July

15-month-old child Isabella Lee Pin Loong has held in immigration detention in Australia since birth despite the protests of the UN. She was transported to the Northern hospital, Epping, suffering what her mother’s lawyer described as a “chronic fever”. The hospital has confirmed that Isabella was being “treated for a medical condition as an inpatient”. Ambulance Victoria said it would not comment on people transported to hospital from the immigration centre – despite doing so in previous cases... more

Afghan refugee, still waiting after 18 years to bring family over, dies in Melbourne

SBS News, 15 July

A refugee who is granted asylum in a third country often dreams of bringing their loved ones close to them. This is the story of one Afghan refugee who came to Australia in 2001 and yet whose family was still waiting to be granted visas, 18 years on. Naqeebullah passed away in June in Melbourne of a suspected heart attack. He had lived in Australia for 18 years. He leaves behind six children – three sons and three daughters in Quetta, the provincial capital and largest city of Balochistan in Pakistan... more

Australia’s onshore refugees are stuck in legal limbo

SBS News, 18 July

About 30,000 people who arrived in Australia by boat before 2013 are suffering financial hardship and deteriorating mental health, a new report has found. Thousands of asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat before 2013 are “living in the shadows” with limited access to support services and visa uncertainty. The Human Rights Commission has examined the experience of about 30,000 people who have been living in Australia on temporary visas since making the journey by sea to seek asylum.  While some were granted substantive visas soon after their arrival, many have faced prolonged delays in processing their claims and have become known as the “legacy caseload”... more

Living in the shadows: waiting years for protection claims

Sydney Morning Herald, 16 July

More than 7500 asylum seekers who have been in Australia for more than five years are yet to have their refugee claims assessed, with the Australian Human Rights Commission warning it has “serious concerns” about the impact of the prolonged delays on their mental health. A report by the Commission, Lives on Hold, finds this group has been “living in the shadows” in the Australian community and there has been little public attention about the human rights issues they face. “These people face prolonged delays in assessing their refugee claims, with limited government support to meet their health and other needs,” said Commissioner Edward Santow... more
Thank you to Nina Ashfield-Crook, Janine de la Begassiere, Gillian Duffy, Kendall Snowden, Margaret Norris 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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