Buddies Refugee Support Group
The border of the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA).
Below: Iranian refugee Vali, in detention in Melbourne while awaiting resettlement
The hunger strike by refugees held at a Melbourne immigration detention centre has reluctantly been called off after some of the protesters became seriously ill. The group are protesting against conditions in the centre and want to be released into the community.
    Most of the refugees were transferred from Nauru or Manus on medical grounds and have been approved for resettlement in the US or Canada. They now say they should be released into the community, as almost 100 other medevac refugees have been, while awaiting resettlement.
    “Why can’t we receive the same support to be free as the other 100 medevac refugees,” 34-year-old Iranian refugee Vali asked. “Living for eight years as if in lockdown, my body and mind have been incapacitated.”
    Vali’s case is indicative of the experiences of many of the group, approved for US resettlement but  told they must remain in detention or return to Nauru until IHMS approves their ability to travel to the US... more

Public meeting: Australia’s Refugee Underclass

Refugee Action Collective Qld

3:00 pm, Electrical Trade Union meeting rooms, 41 Peel Street, South Brisbane
Temporary Protection Visas. Bridging Visas. Community Detention: Tough anti-refugee policies introduced in Australia over recent years have caused a growing refugee underclass who don’t have equal rights. Come and hear the stories of some of the people affected, and join the discussion about how we can campaign for change... more

Film screening: Scattered people

Refugee Association of Logan

2 pm - 4pm, Real Life Christian Church, 129 Dennis Road, Springwood
The screening will be followed by a Q & A with the filmmakers John and Lizzi Swatland and a panel of other prominent speakers. All proceeds will go towards supporting unemployed refugees and people seeking asylum.
Tickets: $20 Book here
Some tickets may be available at the door.

Asylum Rights Campaign: End temporary visas

Refugee Action Collective Qld

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

Buddies Annual General Meeting

11am, ‘Connections on King’, 2-10 Gloucester Rd, Buderim
We are seeking NOMINATIONS (or expressions of interest) from members willing to fill the positions of director and/or secretary in 2021-22. Directors are responsible for managing and directing the activities of Buddies. They meet once a month and the role is not onerous.
    The Secretary role includes maintaining the membership register, preparing minutes of general meetings and the Directors’ meetings and managing official correspondence.  
    For more information: Len 0419 664 524; Lynda 0416 878 431; Paul 0439 679 588 or Gaynore 0402 532 612

Buddies bi-monthly general meetings – dates for 2021-22

2021: 29 August AGM, 31 October and 5 December
2022: 27 February, 24 April, 26 June, 28 August, 30 October and 4 December.

Refugees are brave, strong and talented. Let their children go to school. Give them access to basic health care. Provide them with opportunities to work. They will rise and shine, and make societies hosting them more vibrant, prosperous and diverse.

– Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, on Twitter

Urgent accommodation required

A very reliable and trustworthy asylum seeker is looking for accommodation (one room would be enough) on the Sunshine Coast, preferably close to Marcoola but anywhere on the Coast will do.
    He can make a small contribution to rent/board and he is willing to work off rent by doing odd jobs and chores. He would love to live and help out on a farm.
Character references provided. Please send inquiries to Len Mangan, 0419 664 524,

Whatever happened to Mobarak?

Buddies director Lynda Utting really wanted to know what finally happened to Mobarak after seeing the Buddies film presentation Molly and Mobarak during Refugee Week recently. So she did a bit of super-sleuthing and managed to track down Molly… Spoiler: Mobarak is now a permanent resident married with a family in Sydney…

Send Sahar to safety

Welcome to Maleny

W2M’s latest project is really special and could completely change the life of one person, Sahar, a young single female Hazara refugee from Afghanistan. Stuck indefinitely in Indonesia without any family support or access to basic human rights, Sahar also has no chance of being resettled in Australia. Now Welcome to Maleny is helping Sahar with her application for sponsorship to Canada but we need the help of our local communities... READ MORE

New book: Escape from Manus

The awe-inspiring story of the only person to successfully escape from Australia’s notorious offshore detention centre on Manus Island – a true story of bravery and resilience.
    In 2013 Jaivet Ealom fled Myanmar’s brutal regime but ended up on Manus. Drawing inspiration from the hit show Prison Break, Jaivet meticulously planned his escape. He made it out alive but was stateless, with no ID or passport.
    How Jaivet made it to sanctuary in Canada in a six-month-long odyssey by foot, boat, car and plane is miraculous... more

Priya and Nades: The Facts

Home to Bilo

Home to Bilo are a group made up of Biloela residents, family friends and supporters who have come together to help Nades, Priya and their girls after they were taken from their home in Queensland and placed in detention.
    Their website is particularly informative with all the background information to this story in one place – helpful for the times when you might be chatting to those who oppose this lovely Biloela family... Visit the website

FYI: What is the ‘Legacy Caseload’?

The IMA Legacy Caseload is made up of about 31,000 asylum seekers who arrived in Australia between August 2012 and January 2014.
    The Caseload was placed in a special category after the newly elected Coalition government amended immigration laws in 2014. The changes removed a path to permanent citizenship for asylum seekers. That meant applicants in this category could only apply for a temporary protection visa – and many are still waiting for their applications to be processed.

‘Like the scene of a horror movie’: how Jaivet Ealom escaped from Manus Island

The Guardian, 2 July

In 2013,  Jaivet Ealom was far from shore off the coast of Indonesia, the vessel was sinking, and he could not swim. The event was just one of the horrors that Ealom faced in his long route to freedom: from persecution as a Rohingya Muslim in his homeland Myanmar, to internment on Manus, to his time living in a homeless shelter in Toronto, where he eventually settled.
   Ealom’s book, Escape from Manus, tells the story of his journey. In particular, his six-month odyssey to flee the offshore detention centre using tricks he had learned from the TV series Prison Break, which involved, among other things, studying his guards’ movements and faking his identity... more

After years in limbo, more than 1,000 asylum seekers are racing to meet a new deadline

ABC News, 28 June

Refugee legal services have been swamped by requests from asylum seekers, who, after waiting for years, had now been given two weeks’ notice for the interviews that will determine their future in Australia.
    The surge in interview notices was tied to a June 30 deadline to interview asylum seekers whose applications have not yet been processed from the Legacy Caseload of International Maritime Arrivals, or IMAs.
Before receiving the two-week notice period, the cases of many applicants had been dormant for years.
   But why has this deadline been set now? And why are advocates so concerned about it?... more

Barnaby Joyce’s sympathy for Biloela family a short-term deterrent

Independent Australia, 27 June

The  Biloela family have achieved a small victory in the support of Barnaby Joyce, yet their future still remains questionable.
    What Joyce is not usually associated with is advocacy for refugee rights. That is, until now.
    In a recent statement that blindsided many, he publicly proclaimed his belief that the Biloela family should be allowed to stay in Australia.  Joyce went as far as to criticise the Coalition (that is, his) Government’s handling of the case on racial lines... more

Afghan interpreters given visas and flown to safety in Australia

The Guardian, 26 June

About 80 Afghan interpreters and their families have been granted a safe haven for their work alongside Australian troops in Afghanistan amid intensifying violence across the country.
    In April 41 interpreters had written to the government twice this year pleading for urgent help.
It is understood most of the people listed on the letter are among those who have been able to escape the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, including Tariq Zia who is in hotel quarantine in Melbourne... more

Footballer Hakeem al-Araibi sues Australian government over Thai prison detention

The Guardian, 28 June

The footballer wrongfully detained in a Thai prison is suing the Australian government for negligence and breach of duty of care.
    In a statement of claim lodged to the supreme court of Victoria, al-Araibi’s lawyers allege he suffered injury, loss and damage, including PTSD and lost income as a result of his 77-day incarceration.
    The Bahraini, who was tortured in his native country and subsequently fled to Australia in 2014, was granted refugee status in 2017 and Australian citizenship in 2019... more

‘Liberty is in jeopardy’: Freed refugee could return to detention after High Court ruling

SBS News, 23 June

In a divided verdict, the nation’s highest court has overturned a landmark legal ruling that secured the release of a Syrian refugee, renewing concerns around indefinite detention in Australia.
    The recent High Court verdict quashed a previous Federal Court decision that found the refugee – a man dubbed AJL20 – had been unlawfully detained by  authorities because Home Affairs had failed to make arrangements for his deportation to Syria, the primary purpose of his detention. His lawyer Alison Battisson described the outcome as “incredibly disappointing”... more

Frank Brennan: The High Court’s surrender to the Morrison-Dutton immigration detention regime

Jphn Menadue website, 28 June

For almost thirty years, there has been a tussle between the courts and government over immigration detention. Alas, the High Court recently called a truce with a 4-3 decision as unprincipled as it is harsh.
   The young man involved is now to be returned to detention until a way is found to remove him from Australia.
    In the past, whenever the High Court has set limits on what immigration officials and the Minister can do, government has gone back to Parliament introducing increasingly complex legislation aimed at overcoming the court decisions... more
Thank you to Robert Kann, Len Mangan, Gaynore Stoessel, Lynda Utting and Diana Woolley for their contributions to this edition.
Please send contributions for the newsletter to the editor. 

WEBSITE: Wendy Oakley

FACEBOOK: Anneliese Broadaway
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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