Guided by Justice and Compassion

  • Candle-Light Vigil for Hamed

    Candle-Light Vigil for Hamed

    The Blue Mountains Community reached out to the grieving family of Hamed Shamshiripour in Iran on Saturday night in Leura. The church was full as the community gathered to express their grief and sadness at the tragic death of asylum seeker Hamed Shamshiripour on Manus Island.
    Candles were lit and placed under a framed photo of Hamed. Prayers and meditation framed the evening as people were given the space to share their feelings. Several poets read out their moving poetry, scripture was read and many people wrote messages that will be translated and sent to Hamed’s family in Iran with the poetry and photos of the beautiful candlelit space.

    The vigil was organised by Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group and the Leura Uniting Church. Read more →

  • Meeting with Shadow Minister for Immigration, Shayne Neumann

    Meeting with Shadow Minister for Immigration, Shayne Neumann

    On Thursday 3rd August a delegation from  BMRSG  met with the Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection,  Shayne Neumann and our local member Susan Templeman at Lawson Community Centre to raise our concerns about the treatment of people seeing asylum both within Australia and in Nauru and Manus.
    We put the case for on-shore processing of those on Manus Island and settlement in Australia. We especially focused  on those people suffering health issues due to their detention and those people seeking asylum  with family ties and support networks in Australia. We raised concerns about the treatment of those in  inside Australia: indefinite detention, random removal to  detention centres in other states and people in the community who are living in limbo on temporary visasRead more →

  • Refugee stories discussed at Blackheath

    Refugee stories discussed at Blackheath

    About 60 people filled the Bates room at Blackheath Community Hall on Sunday afternoon to hear about  a book written by refugees on their experiences in off shore detention centres. They Cannot take the Sky.
    A BMRSG contingent was there, Joy Connor, committee member and Villawood Visitor gave an excellent overview of the work of BMRSG  and urged all to “stand up for a decent Australia.”Read more →

  • Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time

    Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time

    Today I attended the world premier today of Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time at the Sydney Film Festival.   It is one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen.   As an Australian I feel ashamed, complicit and appalled.
    Iranian-Kurdish journalist detainee, Behrouz Boochani and an Iranian-Dutch filmmaker, Arash Kamali Sarvestani, made this film with footage shot on a mobile phone.
    It is a unique record of daily life on Manus Island detention centre.
    Also a list of some of Behrouz Boochani’s articlesRead more →

  • Work of BMRSG – Tavam’s shoes

    Work of BMRSG – Tavam’s shoes

    Ever wondered just where BMRSG spends the most welcome donated money. Let me share a story with you.

    In November last year Tavam’s children were attending the swimming school we were running. Tavam accompanied the children and in this delightful non-threatening environment Tavam told me about his well-worn boots. They were issued in detention years ago and have been his only footwear . These are not ordinary boots but boots with specialist built up sole on one shoe. Read more →

  • What’s going on in Detention Centres?

    What’s going on in Detention Centres?

    In recent months there have been reports that security conditions in detention centres are being toughened but the only way we know is from visitors to these centres.
    It is out of sight out of mind. To find out more and what you can doRead more →