A moment of joy

Big birthdays, like turning one, bring changes. We shared previously how the Rapid Response Circle (Circle 110) had organised a first birthday party for a baby, born to a refugee mother in outer Adelaide. For this child, the biggest change was meeting her Dad for the first time ever, after his arrival in Adelaide from detention offshore.

We would love to show you more photos – the initial push away from a little hand, the “well….ok” look and the eventual smile, but of course respect the privacy of the family. (We do have the Mother’s permission to share the image above).

Six months have passed since the initial meeting and this child’s father is still in the transit detention facility in Kilburn. We are hopeful that the family will soon be together in a family home.

Please continue to care, so that in the future, children in Australia (or under Australia’s care) are not separated from their fathers for months on end due to policies enacted by the Australian Government. If you haven’t already, please contact your local MP to urge them to adopt more humane refugee policies such as the Refugee Protection Bill that Andrew Wilkie will be introducing into Parliament on October 21st (read more on this here).

Also if you would like to support this work please consider a contribution to Circle 110, donating through our secure GiveNow account. We appreciate every donation small or large – they all contribute to directly helping someone in need.

Trish Dundon, Convenor Circle 110 (Rapid Response Circle)

#toNZ Stage 3

October 5 – October 21

Continue actions listed in previous post.

ACTION 1 – Andrew Wilkie Legislation: REFUGEE PROTECTION BILL

Andrew Wilkie is introducing his Refugee Protection Bill on Monday morning October 21. There is a copy of the Bill is on the Rural Australian’s for Refugees (RAR) website. If you can be in the Parliament House Gallery on the 21st please let RAR know.

  • Email your local Member of Parliament and ask them to support the Refugee Protection Bill
  • Continue social media #toNZ
  • Download postcards from RAR website and distribute them on street and farmers’ market stalls. Ask people to sign the cards and pay for a stamp and then post to your MP.

October 13 – October 20

  • Media releases and letters to media. Eg Australia must find a solution to offshore detention………the costs are immense approximately $500,000 per detainee per year.
  • Continue social media #toNZ
  • Social media support Refugee Protection Bill
  • ·Stories to talk back radio regarding Asylum Seekers on Manus include Medivac stories.

Monday OCTOBER 21 –

Refugee Protection Bill. Meet outside parliament house at time to be advised on October 21.

Stay strong. Build alliances. Be persistent.

Further action

The Medivac Repeal Bill is expected to go to the Senate during the weeks commencing either the 11th or 25th of November. RAR is proposing that at the commencement of either of these weeks (whichever is appropriate that an ALL Night Vigil be held). Details to be forwarded shortly.

Please contact rar.australia@gmail.com to register interest.

#ToNZ – the next steps

By Monica O’Wheel – COFA Committee Chairperson

Last night I attended Cathy McGowan’s meeting on her national tour, asking us to support the campaign, with Rural Australians for Refugees, to get a resolution for the men who have been detained on Manus Island. It is about taking one campaign at a time. Like getting the Kids off Nauru last year. Then the Medevac legislation. This is the next step.

There is a new government in Papua New Guinea and they want an end to the detention regime. Most of the men have been moved from Manus Island to Port Moresby, 55 are in a wing of a prison, another group are in a hotel and are not allowed out of it and a third group are in hospital.
Right now we want to write letters to our local Liberal members of parliament and Liberal Senators to ask two questions:
– What will it take for the Australian government to accept the New Zealand Deal?
– What will happen to those in Papua New Guinea if we don’t?

Please write a letter or 5 to build the momentum in this campaign. Then follow up with a phone to your local member. 

They are also working on pressuring the Labor Party to take action too.

Please read the email from Rural Australians for Refugees below as they are leading with this campaign.

The push to revive the New Zealand offer to settle asylum seekers currently detained in Papua New Guinea continues, with PNG PM Marape wanting the Australian government to bring the offshore arrangement to an end without this bad policy left perpetually in PNG’s hands. Check the RAR website for the latest information and share on Facebook and twitter the latest action you or your group have taken using the hash tag #toNZ, but also read on …

Following up on the earlier call for emails to senators generally and LNP members, in particular, a kit has been developed which will be distributed separately to member groups and supporters. The actions needed include:
ALP and Greens MPs – now
Anthony Albanese is going to New Zealand. Email your local ALP member to ask to that Albanese request New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern to reissue her invitation to resettle asylum seekers in New Zealand to the Australian and PNG governments.

Email your local Greens Senator and ask them to contact New Zealand Greens MPs to encourage Ardern to renew the offer to re-settle the asylum seekers in New Zealand.

Follow up if you can with phone call to ask for a meeting with your local member/Senator….be polite, persistent, and friendly: build a relationship.
Find your members contact details here

Encourage PNG figures to act – from 27 September
Email (or write to) Prime Minister James Marape and others to congratulate the PNG government on moving the Asylum Seekers from Manus and ask it to consider the offer of the New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern to settle the asylum seekers in New Zealand.

Prime Minister James Marape
Parliament Office
C/-National Parliament, PO Parliament House, WAIGANI, NCD 131, Papua New Guinea
 Ph: +675 3277317
Fax: +675 3277480
Email: jmhulukumaiya@gmail.com

PNG Immigration and Border Security Minister, Petrus Thomas, and the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority.
Email: clientservice@immigration. gov.pg
Petrus Thomas Ph. +675 3277 510
                           Ph. +675 3277 508
                           Fax +675 3277480
PNG ICA.            www.ica.gov.pg
                           Ph.+675 327 6100

PNG High Commission
Email: kundu@pngcanberra.org

We can also email the Catholic Bishops that Australians do not support offshore detention and want the asylum seekers to be settled in a country where they are valued, free and can lead productive lives.

Fr Giorgio Licini PIME, the General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference
Email: cbcgensec@catholic.org.pg

Bishop Rochus Tatamai MSC, President of the Bishops’ Conference
Email: bprochustatamai@gmail.com

Towards a Refugee Protection Bill
Andrew Wilkie will introduce a Refugee Protection Bill on Monday October 21. Its aim is to get the Australian government with the help of the opposition to accept the NZ offer to resettle asylum scurrently in PNG.
RAR is partnering with many other refugee advocacy and support groups to campaign for this bill to be successful! Please read the bill here EM-Refugee Protection Bill and find out more about the activities planned in support
Check https://www.ruralaustraliansforrefugees.org.au/events/ for details of all upcoming campaign events.

Creating a home with the help of a community

Zach was filled with hope on being granted a visa that allowed him to stay in Australia and to rebuild his life in safety. Then he found himself facing another life-threatening challenge of cancer. Surgery and post-operative treatments took their toll, so when an affordable unit came up he was in no shape to find all that was needed for him to settle into his new home.

Alerted by his Caseworker,the Blackwood – Hills and Rapid Response for Refugees Circles joined forces to collect and move in all the essentials on the recent Commonwealth Election Voting Day. This included a bed and side table from a family who were downsizing, whitegoods and sofa from Blackwood Lions, TV, cutlery, crockery, cleaning items and fresh food. Later donations of a floor rug and curtains which were sewn together by a friend of Zach’s added a homey touch to the place.

We are still looking for dining table seating six and a small, comfortable armchair (contact us if you can assist with this). Zach is very happy with his new home. He and Circle of Friends extend a huge thank you to all of you whose interest, donations, goods and cash brought this about.

“Paul*” – An Update

A few moths ago we posted an appeal to support an Asylum Seeker who was without income (read full appeal here). As promised here is and update on his situation. There’s good news and not so good news.

The initial decision was that Paul did have grounds to Appeal his rejection for a Protection Visa. Unfortunately he was again rejected and faces the possibility of return to his home country.

He has one last option which he is exploring currently.

As said previously, Paul is also dealing with a chronic illness which requires ongoing medical supervision. He lives on a budget of only $200 per week. He pays $130 rent, spends $10 on transport and puts aside $60 per week for food. Mobile phone and other costs come from a small emergency payment received monthly from an Aid Agency.

He has been greatly encouraged by the donations made specifically for him since this Appeal was first made. There have been enough, so far, to support him until the end of July. All of the money donated goes directly to his account.

Circle 110 is still seeking donations on his behalf. At present there is no information about a further Appeal but it is clear his precarious situation will continue into August.

As before, all you have to do is use our secure Give Now donation page  with the reference of “110 Paul.”

A huge thank you to all who have contributed so far. You are giving moments of relief and happiness as well as helping with survival.

*name has been changed to maintain privacy and to ensure there are no impacts on his appeal for asylum.