Guided by Justice and Compassion

  • Susan Templeman speaks on the sweeping changes to security in detention centres.

    Susan Templeman speaks on the sweeping changes to security in detention centres.

    The Government is trying to impose sweeping draconian security measures on all immigration centres. Susan Templeman member for Macquarie is opposed.
    Listen to Susan’s speech on the second reading of the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017.
    Read the transcript. Feb.7 2018
    This is why it is so important for us to keep our politicians informed.Read more

  • Friday essay: the Chauka bird and morality on our Manus Island home

    Friday essay: the Chauka bird and morality on our Manus Island home

    Michelle Nayahamui Rooney grew up on Manus Island and returned to her home in November 2017. Here is the story of her childhood, what Manus island means to her as she tries to explains what the detention centre has done to this community.

    “My poem Chauka, yu we? started as an angry reaction to the appropriation of the Chauka and the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers. As a scholar and as a Manus Islander, I have tried to reason through the historical, political, social and moral issues that gave rise to the detention centre. At the same time I am left angry, sad and guilty…”Read more

  • The increasingly deranged diary of a detention centre visitor

    The increasingly deranged diary of a detention centre visitor

    If the Department of Home Affairs was trying to stop detention centre visits with its new, punitive visitation procedures, then it may have worked.
    Last month the Department of Home Affairs changed the visitation protocols for Australian detention centres, provoking outrage and hunger strikes among detainees.
    Here, Rebekah Holt attempts to navigate the new system for her weekly Sunday visit.Read more

  • BMRSG Works – Refuge for woman and child in need.

    BMRSG Works – Refuge for woman and child in need.

    Before Christmas I requested help for a Punjabi woman and her child who was in a desperate
    situation. Within 10 minutes of making the request I had my first offer of accommodation for her.
    Meg, from Katoomba offered a lovely room for 3 weeks. This wasn’t just accommodation it was the
    hand of friendship, a non-judgemental environment where her confidence could be restored. There
    was love, laughter and tears. The outcome is a friendship forever.
    No words could possibly convey the gratitude that we all owe to Meg.
    The next step of the journey has begun.Read more

  • BMRSG Works – Christmas Present from Blaxland High School Students

    BMRSG Works – Christmas Present from Blaxland High School Students

    The joy of giving and the satisfaction of being involved in a worthwhile project coincided recently.
    Chris Cather and Hugh Clarke, Year 9 students at Blaxland High School, helped prevent a much loved but ageing Nissan Pulsar from going to the wreckers and instead turned it into a treasure for a low income refugee.
    Chris and Hugh together with teacher Shaun Halden, grabbed the opportunity to give the car a new life. This was exactly what Sarah Emerson and her son, Owen, had in mind when they gifted the car to Blaxland High School for use in the Metal and Automotive program for Years 9 and 10Read more

  • Update on situation in Villawood over visitor restrictions

    Update on situation in Villawood over visitor restrictions

    An update from one of the BMRSG visitors after going into Villawood on 24 January. “Everyone is upset about the authoritarian and rigid rules about visitors, no games allowed in, no cooked food 7 days notice for visitors and only one detainee per visitor plus random strip searchers after meeting a visitor. Only 3 of our detainees came out to visit with us this week out of 6 but we did invent some fun games and had a good time, Very few families came into the compounds this week as the processes and forms are complex and hard for people for whom English is a second language.”
    Also some background information as to who is in Villawood. Who are 501s?Read more