July 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.

Federal Election 2016 in Review

After more than a week of vote counting and several races that were too close to call, Labor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has conceded defeat. Malcolm Turnbull and the LNP has maintained their grip on the Lower House, albeit by their fingertips. With the 76 seats needed to form a government, the Coalition will have to rely on the tenuous acquiescence of a handful of independents to get their proposed policies through to the Senate with a majority.

What will this mean for people seeking asylum? Check out Jefry’s take on the Federal Election. As a refugee himself, Jefry is a Speaker for Jesuit Social Services and shares his journey with the community to raise awareness and spread compassion for others like himself.

Be sure to read Andrew Hamilton SJ’s reflection on the outcome, and what it means for people seeking asylum.

Why I’m standing in solidarity with people seeking asylum

After attending a workshop with CAPSA earlier in the year, Monique, a year 9 student at Padua College Rosebud, reflects on her growing awareness of the injustice people seeking asylum face in Australia.

“I believe it’s time we start taking action and start spreading the word.
People seeking asylum are not any different from us. As a country we
shouldn’t be treating them like we are. I think it’s time to stop. I
think it’s time we start doing something to change this situation.”

Monique is participating in CAPSA’s National Day of Prayer & Actionin September with her school.

You can read her full article here.

Detention centre’s closure not a win for people seeking asylum

Detainees at Darwin’s Wickham Point detention facility have gradually been moved to unknown locations since June, with the last remaining asylum seekers reported to have left last week. Although this may seem to be a hopeful development for the rights and welfare of people seeking asylum in Australia, the closures have less to do with Australia’s moral and legal obligations and more to do with balancing the budget and claiming political victories.

Rosie Donegan explores Australia’s detention centre network and questions the support it offers people seeking asylum.


  • Semira explains how “Since moving to Australia…[I] feel welcomed and a part of the community” thanks to help provided by service providers, neighbours and family.
  • Read about Ian’s eye-opening experience when he volunteered to teach English to people seeking asylum in Melbourne.
  • Once a political prisoner in Burma, Thiha is now working to support and advocate for the needs of refugees and newly arrived communities.
  • Fablice, the 2016 Victorian Young Achiever of the Year in the category of Arts and Fashion, has come a long way since being a child soldier in Burundi.

What can I do?

  1. Pledge your school to Stand in Solidarity during CAPSA’s National Day of Prayer and Action (September 4-10)
  2. Add your name to CAPSA’s Open Letter to Australia’s Political Leaders for a more just, compassionate and humane welcome of people seeking asylum.
  3. Tell us about local action happening in your community.
  4. Register to participate or host a Circle of Silence on Migrant and Refugee Sunday (August 28)
  5. Volunteer with the Jesuit Social Services English Language Support Program in Melbourne. They are seeking Volunteer English Tutors and Playgroup Facilitators.

Recommended reading & viewing

Australian Doctors Warn Europe on Asylum Seekers – Jill Margo – Financial Review

Immigration Department Failed to Properly Oversee Healthcare Provider – Farrell, Evershed and Jabour – The Guardian

The Turnbull Government Appears Criminally Liable for Manus and Nauru – Max Costello – Independent Australia

Dear Australia: From a Refugee Camp to Rio – Ben Doherty – The Guardian

Offers of Sanctuary Brighten Australia’s Refugee Dark Age – Justin Glyn – Eureka Street