September 2018 Bulletin


What a great CAPSA 2018 National Week of Prayer and Action.

The Catholic community came out in incredible support for those in search of safety, with thousands directly participating during the two weeks either side of Migrant and Refugee Sunday (26th August 2018).

Over 40 Catholic schools, parishes, and organisations across Australia participated in creative ways: there were forums featuring individuals with lived experience of seeking asylum, acts of protest, prayers, and reflection. The way Catholic schools – both staff and students, parishes and staff of Catholic organisations activated during this week was astounding and humbling.

There are multiple concerns at present in this space: the ongoing tragedy of offshore processing and the recent eligibility reassessment for those living within our communities on modest income and case management support are two prominent features. We know that 800 people have been cut off this SRSS support so far, and another 700 are expected to be cut by the end of the year.

By publicly participating as a unified Catholic voice during these two weeks and beyond, we stand in solidarity with those who are in search of safety, and we live out Catholic social teaching, recognising ourselves – and demanding this same recognition from our government and policy makers – the inherent dignity and value of each and every person.

CAPSA is working on new creative ways we can publicly and strategically display our desire for change, and look forward to your continued support. We are just an email or phone call away. Your ideas, inspiration, and feedback are always welcomed.

Thank you for praying, thank you for spreading the word, thank you for being a part of those two weeks, which we know are just two of many tireless weeks of prayer and action for many. We will continue this work together, because together WE CAN make a difference. 

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!

2018 CAPSA National Week of Prayer and Action

A small selection of photos from the wonderful groups that held events, acts of protest, prayer and solidarity during the CAPSA 2018 National Week of Prayer and Action! 

Top left image taken from:

Portfolio Responsibility

Since our last bulletin there have been significant changes in government positions relating to refugees and people seeking asylum. Click here to access an updated list of key individuals with positions relating to people seeking asylum and refugees, their contact details and their first speeches.

If you would like to meet with your local MP and would like some up to date statistics, or information of other members or supporters of CAPSA in your electorate, just reply to this email and we will do our best to support your preparation and enable the meeting to be effective as possible.

‘Stat Snapshot’ – SRSS Cuts

Some key information on people seeking asylum in Australia/offshore.

‘Legacy Caseload’ numbers
(Arrived by boat between 13.08.12 and 19.07.13) in community. From the DHA’s August report found here. 

People currently being processed: 10,233 
People currently case on review or other: 1,539
Total (temporary) protection visas granted: 13,632 
Total protection visas refused: 5,463

Permanent Protection Applications 
(These stats are from RCOA’s website – “this data used to be reported by the Department, it no longer reports this in its published statistics or through its annual report”, this data was acquired because of a Senate Committee’s question)

From June 2013 – January 2018 
Applied for permanent protection visa: approximately 63,500 
Permanent protection visas granted: approximately 9,500 
Permanent protection visas refused: no found information

Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS)

Australia-wide receiving SRSS support (February 2018): 13,299
Cut from SRSS (September 2018): 800

Many Catholic agencies who are trying to support these individuals are working hard and are overwhelmed with the need. Read the CAPSA call to action here. If you have any questions get in touch with the CAPSA team. 

Sector Advocacy

Australian Refugee Action Network National Week of Action 20 – 28 October
ARAN is calling for actions supporting the #KidsOffNauru campaign on or around Universal Children’s Day (24th October 2018).

Information and ideas on what you can do can be found here, and groups and activities happening across the country can be found here (keep scrolling down!).

Academics for Refugees National Day of Action
Academics For Refugees have declared a national day of action for the 17th October 2018. If you are an academic, student or member of the university sector please consider getting involved. More information here

Plenary Council 2020

Many of you will already know that the first plenary council in Australia since 1937 has been called for 2020. The questions posed by the plenary council include: “What is the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. What are we called to do? Who are we called to be? How do we need to change?”

CAPSA asks that your diocese, parish, or group discuss and prayerfully consider how the Church responds to people seeking asylum, refugees, and migration more broadly. If you would be willing to share your thoughts or submissions to the Plenary Council with broader alliance members and supporters, please email them through to us. If information regarding people seeking asylum, refugees, or migration more broadly would be useful to your discussions, please contact us and we will get that information to you.

The plenary 2020 council website is here if you would like more information.


‘A journey with urban refugees in Bangkok’
An opportunity to explore an international perspective on issues facing people seeking asylum. Fr Michael Kelly sj, an Australian journalist and publisher, lives in Bangkok, Thailand, where his life intersects with many people seeking asylum. Many of these live messy, dangerous lives, and those that work with them need to keep in mind that ‘the only unforgiveable sin is despair’. Click here for a recent article on this topic by Fr Michael in Eureka Street.

Wellington Room, Cardinal Knox Centre, 393 Albert St, East Melbourne
12.30 – 2.00pm, Wednesday 7 November 2018
RSVP to Lucia Brick:, tel 9287 5570.

Tea and coffee provided – bring a sandwich.

Reclaim Your Voice: Stop the Punishment of Asylum Seekers 
A concert for people concerned about the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. Fundraiser for Refugee Action Collective Sydney and CD sales to support the ASRC.

Petersham Bowling Club, 77 Brighton Street, Petersham, NSW
6pm – 10pm, 6 October 2018

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: