May 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.

Campaign to #BringThemHere following PNG court decision

On the 26th of April, the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea, declared the Australian-managed detention centre on Manus Island illegal and ordered it must be closed. It found this on the grounds that the centre contravened human rights protections enshrined in the PNG constitution.  Fr Frank Brennan SJ published this piece on the case.

This has presented an opportunity for our leaders to do the right thing for the 900 people affected and #BringThemHere. Yet they refuse to do this. As Andrew Hamitlon SJ outlines, this reamains a stain on our nation. Malcolm Turnbull has also rejected offers from New Zealand to resettle some of the refugees, as Fr Frank Brennan writes.

You can find a statement by CAPSA on this issue here.

Federal Election Campaign 2016

The Federal election has been called and we are heading to the polls on July 2! Pollies have begun their travels and the sound bites are circulating the media air. Andrew Hamilton SJ has reflected on what we can expect from the election, and how we can get involved.

Check out our website for a bunch of resources to meet your local MP to chat about refugee policy. We’ve got policy fact sheets, meeting tips and more!

Don’t forget to let us know if you do meet your MP!

Welcome to the new Bishop of Parramatta

Earlier this month, Vincent Long Van Nguyen was appointed the new Bishop of Parramatta – Australia’s most diverse diocese. Bishop Long is a former refugee himself, arriving by boat from Vietnam in the early 1980s. He has been quick to express his concern over current Australian treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum and is a supporter and member of CAPSA. Read more here.

You can also read our letter of congratulations to Bishop Long.

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 if you’d like to be involved.

Some recommended reading & viewing

Australia’s Hidden, Deadly Migrant Crisis – Charlotte Alfred – Huffington Post

Legislating for human dignity without being misty-eyed – Kate Galloway – Eureka Street

The global refugee crisis: humanity’s last call for a culture of sharing and cooperation – Rajesh Makwana – Share the World’s Resources

When people smugglers were seen as heroes, and we welcomed the dispossessed – Miriam Cosic – The Guardian

Those fighting against offshore detention don’t need all the answers – Tom Ballard – The Age

Refugees don’t self-harm because of me, Peter Dutton, they self-harm because of you – Sarah Smith – The Guardian