Members of Blue Mountains Support Group celebrate World Refugee Day 2020 by creating a virtual Welcome Way. We shared photos and ourselves and our families at home and in our community. We posted our images online and on our fences. We all did it in our own way. Watch this post as ore images will be posted during World Refugee Day 2020
Blue Mountains Refugee Supporters joined the online Action for Refugees on Palm Sunday. Supporters from Blackheath to Sydney showed their support by posting a photo of themselves hold a sign. Some, who found taking a selfie while holding a sign too difficult, photographed their pets. Kathie Herbert, Deputy Chair of BMRSG, who started BMRSG support in Katoomba, said, "Social distancing protocols were strictly adhered to! "
This is an amazingly tough family! We first met them in 2013. They are still in the High Court appeal process so receive no Centrelink payments or Medicare. When we first met. Aamaal* was 12 years old and was the person who liaised with us as she had the best English. There is a younger brother Chandra. Neither parent spoke any English.
After surviving what he describes as two death threats, Anustiyan Sivapalan made the decision to flee Sri Lanka for Australia. "They come to my home, they tried to kill me, but luckily I escaped from the shootout," he said. "That's why I [was] forced to leave." While the psychological scars caused by an experience like this are too complex for many to understand, Mr Sivapalan has found a community where stories like his are the norm. He has been playing cricket for a suburban western Sydney team called Ocean 12 that is comprised of Tamil asylum seekers.
A house full of single men cut off from their families is not always the most serene of places. A house in Liverpool was one such place, full of Tamil men from Sri Lanka and living now very far from home. No mothers, no fathers, no children, and no wives, and this not by any real choice of their own. Many of the young men in this house had Australian residency, but without citizenship they cannot bring their families over to join them.
Congratulations Ocean 12 winner of Last Man Stands (LMS) Australian Championship 2019. It still seems impossible to believe that all those years ago this group of traumatised men who played cricket appallingly have achieved so much. They still manage to shelve their worries and fears and show their amazing ability as a team which has rocked the world of 20/20 cricket. They will compete in the World Champs in Sydney in December.