Guided by Justice and Compassion

  • Blue Mountains Refugee Support group holds vigil outside Macquarie MP’s office

    Blue Mountains Refugee Support group holds vigil outside Macquarie MP’s office

    Members of the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group (BMRSG) took their campaign to the Windsor office of Macquarie MP, Susan Templeman, on Thursday, July 19.
    The gathering was part of a national day of vigils held around Australia to mark the deaths of 12 male asylum seekers in permanent offshore detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru.
    Twelve empty chairs and 12 pairs of shoes were placed outside Ms Templeman’s office to represent the death of each of the young men. Many of the men, aged between 23 and 34 years old, died from suicide, including overdose and self-immolation.
    The vigils, named ‘Five Years Too Many’, also marked the fifth consecutive year of refugees and asylum seekers being incarcerated in these centres, established on July 19, 2013.Read more

  • ‘Five years too many’: a day of vigils for asylum seekers held across Australia

    ‘Five years too many’: a day of vigils for asylum seekers held across Australia

    Members of the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group combined with the Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children to hold a vigil outside the Federal Member for Lindsay Emma Hussar’s offices in Penrith on Thursday.
    The gathering was part of a national day of vigils held around Australia to mark the deaths of 12 young male asylum seekers in permanent offshore detention centres created by the Australian government on Manus Island and Nauru. The vigils, named ‘Five Years Too Many’ also marked the fifth consecutive year of refugees and asylum seekers being incarcerated in these centres, established on July 19, 2013.
    Twelve empty chairs and 12 pairs of shoes were placed outside Ms Hussar’s offices to represent the death of each of the young men.Read more

  • Ged Kearney’s maiden speech to the House of Representatives 21 May 2018

    Ged Kearney’s maiden speech to the House of Representatives 21 May 2018

    “That brings me to the issue of asylum seekers, a passionate and emotional issue for the voters in Batman’s community. I think proudly of the great achievements of both sides of this House, of Malcolm Fraser and Bob Hawke, who with bipartisan support provided sanctuary to those fleeing the consequences of war in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and later from the events of Tiananmen Square. …

    I cannot comprehend how a nation that provided a safe home to so many in the wake of World War II, including our large Jewish community of Holocaust survivors, allowed the Tampa and the children overboard scandal to evolve into the shameful policy of indefinite detention on Manus and Nauru. Racist dog whistling has demonised and vilified a community that has everything to give Australia. And the sacrifice of this human potential has been made solely for political gain.Read more

  • 2018 Human Rights Dinner keynote address by Behrouz Boochani

    2018 Human Rights Dinner keynote address by Behrouz Boochani

    Standing up for human rights is about picking the battles that are long and exhausting precisely because they are the ones that matter the most.
    Even after five years of misery and oppression, Behrouz Boochani hasn’t given up. So how on earth can any of us?
    As he said in his keynote address via video from Manus island last night at the Annual Human Rights Dinner in Sydney:
    “Our advocacy will be acknowledged as truly valuable and worthwhile only when we can secure the release and safety of the refugees imprisoned on these islands.”
    Never give up. We won’t.Read more

  • Walid Zazai speaks from Manus to the Palm Sunday Rally 2018

    Walid Zazai speaks from Manus to the Palm Sunday Rally 2018

    Walid Zazai speaks from Manus
    31 December 2017 As the clock ticked towards midnight, I felt both dread at another long year and hope for what seems unimaginable to me – freedom.
    Hello everyone, my name is Walid Zazai. Thank you for asking me to speak again.

    Much has changed since last year’s Palm Sunday Rally.
    On 7 August 2017, Hamed Shamshiripour died on Manus.On 21 September 2017, 24 Manus men left PNG for the US, thefirst to be resettled under what Donald Trump called a ‘dumb deal’.
    On 29 September 2017, Rajeev became the sixth Manus Island refugee to die in the last four years. His death follows those of Reza Barati, Hamid Kehazaei, Kamil Hussain, Faysal Ishak, Ahmed & Hamed Shamshiripour.
    November 2017 is a month I hope one day my memory will erase.Read more

  • A letter from Manus Island to be read on Palm Sunday

    A letter from Manus Island to be read on Palm Sunday

    Imran, a refugee on Manus, has written this letter on behalf of the refugees and asylum-seekers on the island to coincide with Palm Sunday rallies across Australia. Dearest Friends, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to everyone joining the rally on Palm Sunday, and of course, to those who support us in myriadRead more