CAPSA October 2019 Bulletin

The end of 2019 approaches us, and there is a whirlwind of activity for the end of the year!

The report from the Senate inquiry into the Medevac repeal bill was tabled October 18th, and we are a couple of weeks away from it being debated in the Senate. Senator Jacquie Lambie still holds the key to whether the Medevac process will remain or not. If you are from Tasmania and would get in contact with her about your concerns regarding Medevac being repealed – CAPSAhave put together some guidelines to help here. Details of an all-night vigil on Sunday 10th November in Canberra regarding the repeal bill are below – read on!

CAPSA has been working with the ASRC to develop a workshop through which a whole new set of conversations can take place about people seeking asylum. We are working on rolling out training in various parts of the country. Together WE CAN facilitate and open up a discussion that will change hearts and minds to compassion – more details to come.

In Hope

The CAPSA team

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.

CAPSA is only made possible by the generous contributions, support, work and service of the Catholic community. Make a tax deductible donation today!

Medevac Update

As of the 28.08.2019 there have been 136 approvals since the ‘Medevac Bill’ was legislated. There are 25 more pending approval, with 18 rejected.

The Senate Committee released a report into the repeal bill on Friday 18th October, with dissenting reports also tabled by  ALPGreens and  Centre Alliance Senators. 

Action: Rural Australians for Refugees have organised a all night vigil on the lawn before the Senate votes on the Medevac repeal. This will take place  in Canberra on the night of the 10 November. All are encouraged to participate, to demonstrate the solidarity of Australian people with the right to access adequate medical treatment. Detailed information can be found here.

Action: Senator Jacquie Lambie looks to be the deciding vote on whether this repeal will be successful or not. If you are from Tasmania, please consider writing to the Senator asking her to uphold Medevac. For a template letter and further details, please click here.

Educate! Resource Highlights

Asylum Insight have developed a key publication for students and teachers to provide an overview of the key concepts and rules that underpin Australia’s asylum policy. The resource includes a timeline of Australia’s approach from 1901 to today, a flow chart on the process of seeking asylum, key questions for reflection, and further resources to learn more. You candownload this resource from here.

You can also access CAPSA resources and activities here

An exciting new resource for schools is also available by ‘the refugee education project’ – check out the possibility of them coming to your school for free here.  

‘Stat Snapshot’

The Administrative Affairs Tribunal: a clogged system

The Crikey investigative team have been looking into the situation of the Administrative Affairs Tribunal, the body responsible for reviewing appeals (by anyone who has a valid visa at the time of application for protection ie plane arrivals) relating to negative refugee status determination decisions by the Department of Home Affairs.

  • During the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison governments over the past six years, the Coalition has replaced 70% of the 333 AAT members with its own appointments
  • There are 22,924 refugee claim appeals open at the AAT (as at 30.09.19
  • 3,187 have been referred to the AAT this financial year, with 815 decisions being made during the same time period (as at 30.09.19
  • It takes an average of 786 days from time of lodgement of an appeal to a decision for refugee claims. That is over two years on average. (as at 30.09.19


Against Our Oath – How the medical professions have rallied to support refugees and people seeking asylum

With the recent release of this documentary by Heather Kirkpatrick ( who also made the excellent documentary ‘Mary meets Mohammed’) this is a great opportunity to open up a broader conversation about the country we would like to be.

Host a screening in your community or get along to one of the premiere events! More information here.

Medevac All Night Vigil – Canberra

Sunday 10th November, come for some or all of the all night vigil: detailed information can be found here.

If you have any events, training, or workshops coming up that you think other CAPSA members and supporters would be interested in, please email them through to:

News: Cathy McGowan Tour

Cathy McGowan, former independent Member for Indi, in conjunction with the Rural Australians for Refugees, has recently toured Australia asking for a substantive resettlement solution for those located offshore. The New Zealand offer remains on the table, and she sees it as a viable alternative. While the US deal has seen many hundreds resettled, there are many who have been excluded from this process. CAPSA continues to urge Government to find a solution for resettling those located offshore. 

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