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.
A little more than a year ago two members of BMRSG met with Aasha (not her real name) who had escaped a horrific situation in India with the help of friends. Once she arrived in Australia she applied for asylum. Aasha was being supported by a STARTTS counsellor, her rent was mostly being paid by a leading charity which aids refugees, so BMRSG agreed to pay her $60 per week towards the rent plus $20 for her ongoing medications and fares. A few months later the charity said they were no longer able to pay Aasha’s rent. So, it appeared Aasha would be on the streets.
Latha and Bobbi arrived in 2013 and since that time they have established their new life by working, education and training and created a vegetable with two small children. This is a story of how one couple has managed to survive and thrive despite the difficulties that Australia places in front of those seeking asylum. Refugees do contribute.
This is the first of a series of articles on the huge range of support work undertaken by BMRSG volunteers. Part 1 Employment. This is a major problem for those asylum seekers living in the community. This story has a great outcome.
The 2nd article on the work of BMRSG in 2015. Read about more of the diverse activities undertaken by BMRSG volunteers.