April 2016 Bulletin




We believe that together we CAN make a difference, starting with small acts of kindness and hospitality and becoming a collective voice demanding more compassionate asylum seeker policies.

Kids Out of Detention

On Sunday 3rd April, the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton gave an exclusive to the Sunday Telegraph announcing the significant news that there were no longer any children residing in Australian immigration detention centres. Since then, revelations have emerged that the conditions under which this claim was made are questionable.

Read our article on what this all means and how we can move forward.


Behind The Wire – Stories From Detention

The experience of living in an Australian-run detention centre is unimaginable to most people. The uncertainty, sense of hopelessness and state of limbo often make it a painful memory.

A new oral history project – Behind the Wire – is working to share stories from these centres, directly from people who have experienced them.

In doing so, it hopes to bring a new perspective to the public understandings
of mandatory detention by sharing the reality of the people who have lived it.

Check out these powerful and poignant stories.

Jesuit Social Services – Melbourne Speakers Program

Would you like a speaker to come to your school or workplace?

The real faces and voices of people who seek asylum in Australia are rarely heard. We have the great privilege of walking beside many people, through the ordinary and sometimes extraordinary stages of their lives.We are fortunate to have a range of people seeking asylum willing to share their experiences.

We can present to all groups big or small including:

  • Schools
  • Community groups
  • Parishes
  • Work places
  • Corporate functions

Our Speakers Program is about having people’s voices heard and shared.

To find out more, click on the Jesuit Social Services Melbourne Speakers Program brochure or contact Johanna.burns@jss.org.au / p. (03) 9421 7600

What can I do?

  1. Standing in Solidarity: – CAPSA is working with schools and parishes across the country to coordinate a National Day of Prayer & Action in Catholic schools to call for a more just and humane welcome of people seeking asylum. Make a pledge to take action in September here.
  2. Get involved in the 2016 Federal Election – From forums to lobbying, CAPSA has a plan to put pressure on leading politicians to show some compassion toward refugees and people seeking asylum. Register your interest in getting involved and keep up-to-date.
  3. National Advocacy Network – Want to connect to advocacy work in your local community? CAPSA is starting a new initiative to support advocacy in the community. We will discuss ideas, challenges and plan national-level campaigns and action. Email info@capsa.org.au if you’d like to be involved.

Some recommended reading & viewing

Chasing Asylum (film) – Eva Orner – Premiering in May

‘We are the forgotten people’: the anguish of Australia’s ‘invisible’ asylum seekers – Ben Doherty & Abdul Karim Hekmat – The Guardian

Let Them Stay campaign has had some success, but the public needs to keep fighting for refugees – Nick Riemer – Sydney Morning Herald

Looking for Hany (mini-series) – Hany Al Moliy & UNHCR

‘The whole nation is on board’: inside the sanctuary movement to protect asylum seekers – Melissa Davey – The Guardian

Sierra Leone Commonwealth Games asylum seeker Sandy Walker says ‘Australia changed my life’ – Julie Cross – The Daily Telegraph