Buddies Refugee Support Group

VOA News, 19 July

The Manus Island detention center closed in October 2017 after PNG judges said it was unconstitutional, with about 450 former detainees remaining on the island in community housing or in the capital Port Moresby. Most are refugees who have been told by the government in Canberra that as part of uncompromising border polices they will never been allowed to be resettled in Australia. Few have any desire to stay in PNG but their presence in the impoverished country is putting pressure on health services and fueling tensions with local residents.
    “I have met minister Dutton already,” said Marape. “I have asked him to expedite the process of phasing out the issues of asylum seekers. These are human beings we are dealing with. We can’t leave them all hanging in space with no serious consideration to their future”... more
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 21 September, 10am–6pm
Festuri annual multicultural music & dance festival, Maroochydore
Sunday 22 – Friday 27 September
Learn English Holiday, Buderim
Saturday 26 October–Saturday 2 November
National Unity Week

Guest speakers

Our two guest speakers this month are Ruby and Hui from the Romero Centre in Brisbane. The Romero Centre supports people seeking asylum in Brisbane and will be familiar to many of you from our ongoing food drive for their community pantry. Hui and Ruby will tell us about the other work they do and the various types of support Romero provides.


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
July is membership month at Buddies! If you have not renewed your membership since 30 March this year we encourage you to do so now. Membership paid since 30 March is current until 30 June 2020.

The situation on Manus Island and Nauru is dire. It's time Scott Morrison accepted New Zealand's offer and worked to free every single person still detained in offshore detention.

– Nick McKim, Greens senator and spokesperson on immigration, on Twitter


Kendall Snowden and Wendy Oakley

Only three weeks left. The response has been amazing, but we'd still like to source another $4000. Every liittle bit helps, so please consider donating if you haven't already. If you've already donated please share the Chuffed website with friends... DONATE

Vigil at St Marks, 19 July

Nina Ashfield-Crook

A huge thank you to all of you for making this event happen. It was great to be able to get together as a group to acknowledge the situation and keep pushing forward. I believe this event was very high impact – we got a lot of media coverage so the wider community was made aware of the situation. Well done everyone! 

FACTSHEET: Statistics on people in detention in Australia

Refugee Council of Australia

This overview details the number of people in Australian detention, both onshore and offshore, as at 21 July this year. It includes information on: where people are in detention –children in detention – length of detention – reasons for detention & nationalities – community detention... read

Liberal MP calls on government to accept New Zealand refugee offer

SBS News, 23 July

Federal Liberal MP Russell Broadbent has urged the government to take up New Zealand’s offer to settle at least 150 refugees, currently on Manus Island and Nauru. He said he would like to “see us pursuing the offer” despite its rejection by successive Australian prime ministers.  “If the New Zealand offer is there and on the table, I’ve been an advocate to take up the opportunity for a long time,” he said. “We have to take every opportunity that is there to remove these people from indefinite detention ... The generous, heartfelt approach by the New Zealanders is very welcome”... more

Greens senator Nick McKim deported from Manus Island

The Guardian, 20 July

The Greens senator Nick McKim says he was deported from Manus Island because he “simply stood on a public street and asked politely” to see conditions in a refugee and asylum seeker transit camp. The Tasmanian member says he was asked to leave after trying to visit East Lorengau transit centre. McKim – who has a 12-month, multiple-entry visa – was visiting to mark the sixth anniversary of Australia’s resumption of mandatory offshore detention, when then-prime minister Kevin Rudd announced that all asylum seekers who arrived by boat would not be resettled in Australia... more

Manus asylum seekers make friends with Australians online, but many do not want to come here

ABC News, 25 July

Jill Horton is part of a large community of Australians who have reached out to asylum seekers in detention, providing friendship and support. Doctors, lawyers, artists, musicians, writers and activists are helping people in detention, especially concerning their mental health needs. People are connecting online and organising lawyers and translators, as well as helping with applications and raising money for sponsorship for those still living in limbo on Manus and Nauru... more

‘Wicked thing’: Centre Alliance MP blasts government over Medevac repeal bid

SBS News, 25 July

MP Rebekha Sharkie has appealed to her Christian colleagues to read a section of the Bible before voting. She drew on her Christian faith during a debate about the government’s Medevac repeal bill in a passionate defence of the laws that were passed in February. “Matthew 25 makes it very clear– in the New Testament stranger and neighbour are in fact synonymous. The golden rule of love your neighbour as yourself refers not just to the people you know, your neighbours, but also to those you do not know" ... more

Trump’s immigration approach isn’t new: Europe and Australia went first

New York Times, 18 July

President Trump’s approach to migration, which has reshaped American border enforcement with its “zero tolerance” policy, follows a model pioneered by the European Union and Australia — though they may not have pursued it with Mr Trump’s bombast. Like Trump’s policies, this model relies on two strategies to keep refugees from reaching the border at all – make the journey so daunting that they will not even attempt it, and enlist poorer countries to detain or expel those who do anyway... more

Beyond the inhumanity, Operation Sovereign Borders simply does not work

Independent Australia, 5 July

“Stopping the boats” is consistently proclaimed as the principal purpose of Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB), the policy of which mandatory offshore detention is a key pillar. Between 2015-16, there were no reports of boats intercepting Australian waters, compared to the 110 arrivals recorded between 2011-12, before the strategy was introduced. By these statistics, OSB, in all its barbarity, seems effective. But just because less boats are reaching Australian waters does not mean they have stopped. Documents obtained under FOI specified that international authorities, in cooperation with the Australian Federal Police, had performed 78 disruptions of attempts by boats carrying asylum seekers to leave international ports, mostly Indonesian. The policy has simply prevented boats from arriving in Australian waters, not stopped them... more

Six years of my life lost on Manus Island: refugee writes on anniversary of ‘PNG solution’

Sydney Morning Herald, 19 July 

As a refugee on Manus, Shaminda Kanapathi had been hoping for a change of government in Australia, and with it a shift in attitudes. “Having committed no crime other than to seek refuge, we were hoping that a new government would act quickly to ensure we all are safely resettled as free men. This would have involved: immediate compliance with the Medevac Bill; resettlement in Australia for those who already have families there; positive action in facilitating New Zealand’s offer to resettle 150 men from Manus; urgent negotiations with third-party countries to resettle the remaining men; reassessment of those people on Manus and Nauru who have non-refugee (termed “negative”) status; and permanent settlement in Australia granted to the remaining people so they may have the opportunity to restart their lives after many years of indefinite incarceration"... more

Thank you to Nina Ashfield-Crook, Janine de la Begassiere, Gillian Duffy, Scott Grimmett, Kendall Snowden 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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