Home Among the Gum Trees NSW
Holidays for people seeking asylum and their families in rural and coastal towns in NSW. For relaxation, friendship and understanding in an... Read More
Bishop Long in Blackheath for Migrant and Refugee Sunday
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”.
What is ‘The Global Compact” and why is it important?
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.
Report on BMRSG visit to the federal politicians 18 and 19 June 2018
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.
Local Tibetans thank the Blue Mountains community with a cultural celebration for Dalai Lama’s 83rd Birthday
Blue Mountains locals were welcomed to a traditional Tibetan cultural celebration to commemorate the 14th Dalai Lama’s 83rd birthday last Friday at the old library in Katoomba. The event gave exiled Tibetans living in the Blue Mountains an opportunity to thank the Blue Mountains community and celebrate the Dalai Lama’s birthday with the taste, colour, music and dance of Tibet. There are approximately 50 Tibetan adults and children living in the Blue Mountains and many arrived in Australia on humanitarian visas. All of them are refugees or children of refugees who fled Tibet after the Chinese occupation in 1950 and made the long trek over the Himalayas to reach safety in Nepal. The first Tibetan refugee settled in Katoomba nine years ago and others arrived after the Dalai Lama visited the Blue Mountains in 2015. In the last six months some families have arrived directly from India on humanitarian visas. Ms Dhongdue praised the local community saying that Tibetan refugees had been ‘embraced with warmth and love’.
BMRSG at RAR Wodonga Part 2 – Changing Hearts and Minds
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.
BMRSG Works – Even more shoeboxes this year
In this the 3rd year of the Youth Shoebox Project even more were received. More than 203 were delivered to children and young people seeking refuge and asylum. This project is a joint effort with Mountains Youth Services Team (MYST) and Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group (BMRSG) - working together to spread love and support.
Farewell to the wonderful Kath
Mountain Activist off to Bourke Bourke has gained a treasure, while the Blue Mountains, especially the Refugee Support Group Detention Centre visiting team, have lost Kath Sneddon, one of their great stalwarts. Refugees in Sydney have lost a great advocate. Kath’s cheerful energy has lightened many a depressing day at the Villawood Detention Centre while her home cooking and great free range stuffed eggs were a great favourite with home sick refugees stuck in indefinite detention – until Minister Dutton’s Border Force decided home cooked food was a security risk!
Annual General Meeting 2017
Members of Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group gathered on Saturday 11 November for the 2017 Annual General Meeting. Chairman Hal Ginges congratulated members and their Committee for a busy and productive year, with highlights such as financial help for asylum seekers in their visa applications, and $130,000 distributed during the year to refugee families and Villawood detainees. Hal Ginges thanked two of the founding members of BMRSG who are standing down from their long term positions on the committee and taking up new roles.
Susan Templeman’s speech on Australian Border Force Amendment Bill 2017
"The Turnbull government has introduced an amendment to Parliament to remove strict secrecy provisions governing Australia’s immigration detention system. The move has been described as “a major victory for refugee advocates who challenged the laws in the High Court”. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton introduced amendments to the 2015 Australian Border Force Act that previously threatened detention centre workers with two years in prison if they spoke out about neglect or abuse." Susan Templeman MP Member for Macquarie spoke on this Bill.
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