Buddies Refugee Support Group

Next week’s Bulletin will be our last for 2019. The next Bulletin will be on Friday 10 January 2020.
Next year the Bulletin will be issued fortnightly.

Asylum seeker Shamindah Kanapathi, and Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie

SBS News, 28 November 

Shamindah Kanapathi, an asylum seeker in Port Moresby, has warned that ‘people will die’ if the medevac laws are repealed. With the fate of the laws set to be decided at any time, Lambie holds the crucial swing vote in the medevac repeal and signalled on Wednesday she will vote to scrap the laws on one condition, which she is not revealing due to national security reasons.
    “I do not know what condition Jacqui Lambie has put to the government, but if [she] has been listening to the doctors and the refugees who have been left without help, she will not allow politicians to have the final say over whether refugees can get the medical treatment they need,” Shamindah said.
   Debate around the laws, which give doctors more say in emergency medical transfers to Australia, is being closely followed by those it affects in PNG and Nauru... more
Saturday 30 November, 11.30am
Buddies Xmas picnic, Cotton Tree
Wednesday 4 December, 7.30am
Bunnings sausage sizzle, Noosaville
Saturday 7 December, 11am
Buddies Reunion Picnic, Roma St Parklands
Saturday 7 December
The World's Big Sleep Out, The Gabba, Brisbane
Sunday 15 December, 3pm
SCRAN 2019 Celebration, Tanawha
13–14 February 2020
RCOA Refugee Alternatives Conference, Brisbane

Photo exhibition opening

presented by Amnesty Sunshine Coast

Open 10am-3pm daily, Old Ambo Station, Nambour
This free exhibition is about 3 stories, 3 connections. For each story, one of them is from a refugee background and the other from a local person. Really beautiful stories and pictures. View the poster

Buddies Xmas picnic

11.30am, Cotton Tree Park, Maroochydore
Bulletin readers, family and friends are invited to a Xmas picnic. Meet your fellow Buddies and join in the fun. BYO picnic goodies and chairs. More info: Paul 0439 679 588. RSVP  View the poster

Bunnings sausage sizzle fundraiser

7.30am–4.30pm, Bunnings Noosaville 
This is a fun way to meet the public and possibly spread the word about refugee support whilst hopefully raising lots of money towards Buddies’ work. Sausage sizzles are a great fundraiser for our organisation.

Buddies Reunion Picnic – an invitation to all Homestay Hosts

11am, Roma Street Parklands, at the tables under the big white sails near the lake
An opportunity to catch up with new and old friends. Please contact your refugee friends and invite them to join us all. Please bring plenty of food and drinks to share with everyone. For more info email Kayla0427 380 235

The World's Big Sleep Out

The Gabba, Brisbane
For one night, in backyards, hometowns and iconic locations across the globe, people will sleep out in unison to create the world’s largest display of solidarity with those experiencing homelessness and displacement. The Romero Centre has been chosen as the charity mission to be benefiting 50% of funds raised from the event... MORE

SCRAN 2019 Celebration

Hosted by Sunshine Coast Refugee Action Network

3-6pm, Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens, Tanawha
Come and celebrate the year's achievements with us at a picnic style event. Take part in Amnesty International's annual Write for Rights campaign! Bring a plate of food to share (no meat or single-use plastics please) and BYO drinks. Hope to see you there!
13–14 FEBRUARY 2020

Refugee Alternatives Conference 2020

Refugee Council of Australia and QUT

QUT Gardens Point Campus, Brisbane
An action-packed conference week with speakers and delegates joining us from across Australia, with priority given to speakers from refugee backgrounds. View the draft program HERERegister here

How powerful is this. The ASRC standing proudly at Parliament House with our refugee sector and politicians and 51,000 everyday Australians who signed our joint petition calling on the Senate to #SaveMedevac.

–Kon Karapanagiotidis, ASRC CEO, on Twitter
From left: Andrew Wilkie MP, Adam Bandt MP, Kristina Keneally MP, Nick McKim MP, Kon Karapanagiotidis (ASRC), Shen Narayanasamy (GetUp), Andrew Giles MP and David Burke (Human Rights Law Centre)

PETITION: Get people on Nauru and PNG to safety

Amnesty International

Last month Craig Foster and the Amnesty team traveled to Port Moresby where we met with many of the refugees sent to Manus more than seven years ago. Just a handful remain on Manus Island now. Nothing prepares you for the damage and trauma these young people have endured... SIGN

Sign the pledge: Stand up for an Australia that welcomes people seeking asylum

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

Let people seeking asylum know they are welcome here.
Your pledge demonstrates you stand in solidarity with people who came here in pursuit of their right to live safely and with dignity. Your voice and message of welcome helps to create a more supportive home for people seeking asylum... SIGN
Canadians and Aussies are stepping up – if the government won’t resettle Manus and Nauru refugees, we will.


Ads-Up general fundraiser


To date $176,000 has been raised by 684 donors towards the target of $200,000. This campaign is specifically directed towards the more than 200 refugees stuck in detention who have been rejected from the US-Australia resettlement deal. For them the situation is especially desperate and the only current option is privately sponsored resettlement in Canada... more

Jacqui Lambie coy on conditions for supporting medevac repeal

SBS News, 28 November

Jacqui Lambie has come under the pressure of lobbyists and refugee advocates as the government needs her vote to succeed in its push to repeal the medevac laws in the Senate. The legislation was passed against the government's wishes in February. Since that time, nearly 180 asylum seekers have been transferred to Australia for medical treatment under the laws. Senator Lambie has demanded one condition from the government in exchange for her support. She did not outline the details of her ultimatum but described the condition as a "sensible, reasonable proposition" that was developed after extensive consultation… more

Baby in detention could be separated from mother despite UN requests

Crikey, 25 November

Nineteen-month-old Isabella has spent her entire life in an Australian detention centre. Now there are fears she may be separated from her mother. On November 4, Isabella’s mother Huyen Tran was given a deportation notice by Border Force staff. It said that Huyen would be deported to Vietnam on or after November 25. Lawyer Alison Battisson promptly lodged a complaint with UNHCR, which confirmed it was investigating the case. Battisson says Huyen and Isabella have been subject to human rights breaches including their right to a private life and the right for a child not to be separated from family... more

Man blogging from immigration detention has had his Medium account shut down

Buzzfeed, 20 November

Nauroze Anees, 32, has spent the last three years in onshore immigration detention, and is currently held in Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre. Until last Thursday he ran a blog called #DiaryOfaDetainee on Medium, which he used to make allegations of corruption and criminal activity by the Australian government and others in the detention system, as well as describing life in detention. But overnight on Thursday, his blog was suspended and his old posts are no longer available online... more

Inside Australia’s PNG refugee prison camp 

Green Left, 21 November

Australia has spent $22 million on the Bomana prison annex in Port Moresby, where previous Manus detainees are being held. Nevertheless the government denies any responsibility for their treatment, despite the fact they are in PNG because Australia sent them there. The aim was to treat people so badly that they ultimately agree to return to their home country. They said that in Bomana they only received a tiny amount of food, with some losing more than 10 kg. They also said they were promised $25,000 if they agreed to return... more

Government wants half of new refugees to be settled in ‘regional’ Australia by 2022

The Age, 22 November

The Morrison government has set a target for 50 per cent of new refugees to settle in ‘regional’ Australia, including Perth and the Gold Coast, by 2022 and will appoint a special migrant services co-ordinator in a bid to improve outcomes for recent arrivals. In particular, the co-ordinator-general for migrant services, a senior public servant in Peter Dutton’s Department of Home Affairs, will be asked to “promote the contribution migrants, refugees and humanitarian entrants make to our nation” and oversee settlement services... more

Tamil families fear they’ll never find missing loved ones after Sri Lanka election result

SBS News, 18  November

For hundreds of Tamil families still searching for loved ones who disappeared during Sri Lanka’s civil war, the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the country’s new president only adds to their suffering. Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war pitted government forces against Tamil separatists, claiming the lives of up to 100,000 people. The UN found credible allegations of war crimes by both sides during the brutal conflict, a tormented time in Sri Lanka’s history from which the country is still searching for resolution. About 20,000 people, mostly Tamils, are thought to be missing and no one has ever been held accountable for their disappearances... more

Refugees in PNG ‘limbo’: ‘How much longer can our will survive?’

RadioNZ, 22 November

Australia is deliberately prolonging the suffering of refugees it detained on Manus Island who are now languishing in Port Moresby, writes refugee Shaminda Kanapathi. “In 2016 former PM Malcolm Turnbull announced a deal with the US government, which was expected to resolve Australia’s offshore detention dilemma. For those of us detained on the islands, we truly believed it would be the turning point in this indefinite detention saga. With renewed hope, most of us made an application for resettlement. An officer from the US Department of Homeland Security then interviewed us to determine our eligibility and to make a final decision regarding our application"... more
Thank you to Andrea Douglas, Gillian Duffy, Len Mangan, Paul McKinlay, Penny Rivlin, Kayla Szumer, 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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