July 2018 Bulletin
CATHOLIC ALLIANCE FOR PEOPLE SEEKING ASYLUM
July 2018 BULLETIN
Our July Bulletin comes out at a difficult time for many individuals and families who are seeking asylum, as the Australian Government is currently removing basic support payments for a significant number of people seeking asylum.
We want to make sure that these individuals have their basic needs met and that the impact of these changes are recorded.
We know that many in the Catholic community are supporting these individuals and families. Please email us your stories, photos (if you are happy with them being published broadly), and perspectives – we will be collating this information to make sure that the voice from the Catholic community comes through loud and clear to those making those policies. And please take a minute to sign our petition!
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.
Action: CAPSA call to action regarding SRSS income cuts
“Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age (Matthew25:35-43)”
– Pope Francis, Message for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018 [i]
The Australian Government is currently removing basic support payments for a significant number of people seeking asylum. This will have a devastating effect on many vulnerable people in our community. There has been a slight revision of the timeline for cuts to SRSS. Income support will be cut (for those already notified of cuts) on the 9th August and they will lose all access to SRSS (including case management) on the 16th August.
Please sign our petition here.
[i] Pope Francis, Message for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018, 15 August 2017, http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/migration/documents/papa-francesco_20170815_world-migrants-day-2018.html
Action: Anniversary of mandatory offshore processing
Five years ago, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that all asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat after the 19th of July 2013 would be processed offshore and not be resettled in Australia.
This has resulted in:
- 12 deaths offshore
- $4.89 billion being spent to date, with $714 million being put towards offshore processing in the previous 2017/18 financial year alone
- Many, now with refugee status, are still living in extremely harsh conditions on Nauru and on Manus Island, PNG
CAPSA is calling for 15 minute lunchtime ‘Circles of Silence’ to mourn this 5 year anniversary on Thursday 19th July, 2018. For more information and resources go here.
CAPSA team’s new staff additions
CAPSA has had two new staff members join the team: Josh and Mimi (we will let you guess from the photo who is who).
Hello! My name is Josh, I am a terrible swimmer, love listening to and playing music, and once broke my toe playing a game of squash. I am a member of my local Vinnies conference and have a background in community engagement/development, and have researched settlement and immigration detention and its connection with broader themes of Australian society. I am looking forward to working alongside the Catholic community to work towards a coordinated and compassionate welcome for those in search of safety. I enjoy Pope Francis’ words “At the heart of the Gospel of mercy the encounter and acceptance by others are intertwined with the encounter and acceptance of God himself. Welcoming others means welcoming God in person”.
Hi! I’m Mimi and I hail from Burundi. I myself am currently seeking asylum in Australia; I’m excited to be part of the CAPSA team and look forward to meeting the wonderful community that values fair and humane treatment for people seeking asylum and refugees. My background has revolved around using media and communication for social change. I have worked across multiple faculties at Monash University (in communications and student engagement) and have delivered talks at schools and universities through Jesuit Social Services’ Just Voices Speakers Program. I enjoy watching the AFL especially when the Hawks are playing! It’s about time they become the champions again!
Please get in touch with the CAPSA team for ideas, resources and suggestions: email@example.com
Australian Refugee Action Network National Conference
Members of the CAPSA team attended and presented at the ARAN national conference. Read our recap here.
The UNHCR have recently released their latest findings and recommendations on the situation on Manus Island, PNG. You can read the report here.
As part of the Welcome the Asylum Seeker Parish Support Program, Catholic Social Services Victoria is hosting a forum for parishes, ‘Helping our Refugee Families and Friends’ on Saturday 25 August, at the Cardinal Knox Centre, 383 Albert Street, East Melbourne, from 9.30am – 12.45pm. More information here
Please post this event to your parish bulletin if appropriate.
There are a number of events/rallies across the country to remember the 5th anniversary of mandatory offshore processing and detention
Rally In Melbourne: Refugee Action Collective
Rally In Perth: 5 Years Too Many #EvacuateNow
Rally In Sydney: Five years too long: Evacuate Manus and Nauru!
Rally In Brisbane: the Five years too long: Bring them here now
Rally In Canberra: 5 years in Manus & Nauru
For other events at various locations across the country check ARAN’s website 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 firstname.lastname@example.org