BMRSG's submission as to why we do not support this bill. "We are concerned that this bill will slow the evacuation of seriously ill people from Manus and Nauru to Australia for specialist treatment thus exacerbating their disorders. Doctors and medical personnel must always be able make the decision for rapid medical evacuation in a society which values human life. The previous system involved many levels of bureaucracy and constant court battles to enable medical transfers, an expensive and time wasting business."
Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen visited Sacred Heart Church Blackheath on Sunday 26 August for Migrant and Refugee Sunday. Bishop Long fled Vietnam on a refugee boat in 1979, following two of his brothers who had already left, and reached Malaysia, where he spent 16 months in a refugee camp where he learned English. He reached in Australia in 1980. In his homily he discussed Pope Francis' invitation to be “Welcoming, Protecting, Promoting and Integrating towards Migrants and Refugees”.
Peter Dutton announced to Ray Hadley that Australia was not signing 'The Global Compact". So what it is? It is the first universal instrument to provide common frameworks, guiding principles and approaches to deal with international migration. It has been developed over 18 months of multi-stakeholder consultations and six rounds of negotiations between UN member states with conflicting interests. The final draft, completed on 18 July 2018, Read two concise informative summaries that explain what it is and why it is important.
Joy Connor, Deputy Chair BMRSG visited politicians in Canberra with Marie Sellstrom President of Rural Australians for Refugees. First they met with Peter Dutton's main advisor and an advisor then they met with Shayne Neumann, Ged Kearney, Sue Templeman and the Advisor to Kristina Keneally. At these meetings they discussed Immigration Detention, the use of handcuffs on people seeking asylum when they went to medical and counselling appointments, SRSS, resettlement, The Amendments to the Migration Act, the RAR Statement on People Seeking Refuge and Asylum and the Andrew Wilkie Bill.
BMRSG, led by Joy Connor, ran a packed out workshop, Changing Hearts and Minds. Participants came up with a long list of activities which they had successfully tried in their home towns. The list on butcher's paper was shared with all on the wall and other participants added to it.
Six members of BMRSG attended the Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR) National Conference held in Wodonga in April 2018. One of the group Roger Grealy writes of his experiences of the conference. This is Part 1 of 3 articles on the wide range of speakers, workshops and great people we met.