Guided by Justice and Compassion

  • Latest attack on Hazaras in Afghanistan highlights Australia’s murderous ‘head in the sand’ policy

    Latest attack on Hazaras in Afghanistan highlights Australia’s murderous ‘head in the sand’ policy

    The recent Ashura Day attack on a packed mosque of Shia Islam worshippers in Kabul continues a tragic succession of deadly incidents aimed against ethnic Hazaras (essentially corresponding to Shias in Afghanistan), especially over the past 15 months. Against a background of deteriorating security all over the country the Hazaras are especially and increasingly vulnerable to persecution and targeted violence by Sunni extremists, who regard them as infidels.
    The evidence is now overwhelming, but Australia insists on maintaining an attitude of denial against which it can reject Hazara claims for protection and forcibly deport them to a situation of even greater danger than that from which they fled. This policy is clearly dishonest, unprofessional and potentially murderous. As Amnesty’s Anna Shea says, “they will have blood on their hands.”Read more →

  • Susan Templeman’s speech on Australian Border Force Amendment Bill 2017

    Susan Templeman’s speech on Australian Border Force Amendment Bill 2017

    “The Turnbull government has introduced an amendment to Parliament to remove strict secrecy provisions governing Australia’s immigration detention system. The move has been described as “a major victory for refugee advocates who challenged the laws in the High Court”.
    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton introduced amendments to the 2015 Australian Border Force Act that previously threatened detention centre workers with two years in prison if they spoke out about neglect or abuse.”
    Susan Templeman MP Member for Macquarie spoke on this Bill.Read more →

  • Shelter concert a great success

    Shelter concert a great success

    The Shelter concert, an initiative of the Blackheath choir the Heathens, held in Woollahra Sunday 20 August, was a great success. The event was a successful fundraiser for BMRSG, a percentage of which will be given to Music for Refugees who do wonderful work with detainees in Villawood Detention Centre .

    The Sydney Jewish Choral Society and an instrumental trio of world class musicians that consisted of Francesco Celtata, Michael Kruger and Hugh Kruger inspired the audience with the beauty of their music.Read more →

  • 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 →

  • The Empathy Poems

    The Empathy Poems

    The Empathy Poems poems of compassion for asylum seekers and refugees around the world.
    The idea is simple: people choose a poem they have an affinity with and reimagine, rewrite or respond to it in any way, but in view of the broad themes of refuge and asylum.Read more →

  • Comment on Peter Dutton interview on The Project

    Comment on Peter Dutton interview on The Project

    The Immigration Minister has given thousands of asylum seekers an October deadline to apply for protection or face deportation.
    Mark Isaac‘s excellent commentary on the Dutton interview (The Project). saying it like it is… “This man purposefully obfuscates the facts, he purposefully lies to terrorise and demonise the most vulnerable. He talks of Christian values but his actions contradict the teachings of Jesus Christ. He is a despicable low-life.”

    Read more →