May 2018 Bulletin
CATHOLIC ALLIANCE FOR PEOPLE SEEKING ASYLUM
MAY 2018 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.
Join the action against SRSS income cuts
Thousands of vulnerable people seeking asylum in our communities are facing significant hardship now that the Australian Government is reducing access to the Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS).
SRSS provides a vital safety net for people seeking asylum in our community. Its removal will leave many marginalised people even more vulnerable and exhaust charitable services that are already overstretched.
Will you join us in calling our Government to reverse this decision and give these vulnerable people a fair go?
See A Joint Catholic statement on SRSS income cuts for people seeking asylum in Australia, which includes information about what you can do to stand for people seeking asylum and change the policy.
A joint Catholic statement about bridging visas
In 2016 a small number of people seeking asylum were evacuated from Nauru and sent to Australia in need of medical care and support. Many of these people were experiencing complex health needs in addition to the trauma and persecution they had faced on their journeys to Australia.
The Federal Government is now seeking to further punish this small group of people by ceasing their income and accommodation support and transferring them to six-month bridging visas.
The decision will further stretch the limited resources of Australian charities who are already showing the type of compassion and leadership missing from our Federal Government.
As a nation we must focus on supporting, not punishing, people seeking asylum.
You can read the joint Catholic statement about this here: https://jss.org.au/a-joint-catholic-statement-about-bridging-visas/
Call for volunteers to assist housing program for refugees
CatholicCare and St Vincent’s Health Australia recently partnered to support Iraqi and Syrian refugees by housing them in self-contained units on the site of St Vincent’s Health Care Services in Eltham, Melbourne. Known as The Eltham Project, the units provided much needed temporary emergency accommodation to dozens of refugee families and individuals.
Unfortunately, the refugee housing project is due to conclude at the end of September this year.
Netty Horton, recently appointed CEO of CatholicCare, has put out an urgent call for volunteers from the Melbourne community to help Iraqi and Syrian refugee families look for and transition into new longer term accommodation.
CatholicCare is also keen to hear from anyone in the community who may have information on low-cost accommodation for medium to long term lease. This could be anything from houses, apartments, villa units, bungalows, granny flats or cabins in Melbourne.
Any offers of assistance, from volunteering to real estate, are welcome. CatholicCare may be contacted by phone, email or via their website.
See the full story here: http://melbournecatholic.org.au/News/catholiccares-ceo-puts-out-an-urgent-call-for-volunteers .
Australian Refugee Action Network Second National Conference – Melbourne, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 July, 2018
The AUSTRALIAN REFUGEE ACTION NETWORK conference is open to anyone interested in refugee activism and advocacy. Gather with other activists and advocates to:
- Discuss the political context and campaign priorities
- Share ideas and experience for mobilising and effective campaigning
- Explore ideas for strengthening national coordination
Find out more at: https://australianrefugeeactionnetwork.wordpress.com/conf-2018/
Refugee Week is Australia’s peak annual activity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society. Originally celebrated in 1986, Refugee Week coincides with World Refugee Day (20 June).
In 2018, Refugee Week will be held from Sunday 17 June to Saturday 23 June. The 2018 theme is #WithRefugees .
Refugee Week is an opportunity for ordinary Australians, advocates, faith groups, schools, politicians, organisations, artists and communities to show their support and get involved in a Refugee Week activity.
Amnesty International has produced a report on the reduced healthcare available to refugees and people seeking asylum in PNG. The comprehensive report is available here.
Recommended Reading & Viewing
- Migrants add to Australia’s wealth, government report finds
- Fifty more refugees approved to leave Nauru and Manus for US
- Manus Island: lives on hold – photo essay
- Pope: Migration issue transcends narrow view of security, self-interest
- Cardinal Tagle: Don’t raise up walls, we all have migrant blood
- Asylum cuts alarm agencies