Guided by Justice and Compassion

  • Syrian Refugees Visit Katoomba

    Syrian Refugees Visit Katoomba

    On Thursday 7 December 120 Syrian refugees came to the Blue Mountains. They were welcomed at St Hilda’s Church Hall with a banquet prepared by volunteers from St Hilda’s Anglican Church and St Canice’s Catholic Church. The banquet included many dishes from their own country, Syria. BMRSG was represented by Joy Connor, Anne Henderson andRead more

  • Farewell to the wonderful Kath

    Farewell to the wonderful Kath

    Mountain Activist off to Bourke
    Bourke has gained a treasure, while the Blue Mountains, especially the Refugee Support Group Detention Centre visiting team, have lost Kath Sneddon, one of their great stalwarts. Refugees in Sydney have lost a great advocate.
    Kath’s cheerful energy has lightened many a depressing day at the Villawood Detention Centre while her home cooking and great free range stuffed eggs were a great favourite with home sick refugees stuck in indefinite detention – until Minister Dutton’s Border Force decided home cooked food was a security risk!Read more

  • Australia built a hell for refugees on Manus. The shame will outlive us all – Richard Flanagan

    Australia built a hell for refugees on Manus. The shame will outlive us all – Richard Flanagan

    So this is what we have come to as a nation.
    The wretched of the earth, because they were no longer safe where they lived, sought to come here. With a determined cruelty, we kidnapped and imprisoned them in Pacific lagers. These lagers became synonymous with the idea of hellholes because it was important to our government that they be – ­and be known as – hellholes.
    On this policy of deterrence, as it was called, which had as its declared purpose to make innocent human beings suffer indefinitely, we spent billions of dollars. To this end we had truck with vile regimes such as Sri Lanka’s. And to this end we began forsaking our democratic rights.Read more

  • Annual General Meeting 2017

    Annual General Meeting 2017

    Members of Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group gathered on Saturday 11 November for the 2017 Annual General Meeting.
    Chairman Hal Ginges congratulated members and their Committee for a busy and productive year, with highlights such as financial help for asylum seekers in their visa applications, and $130,000 distributed during the year to refugee families and Villawood detainees. Hal Ginges thanked two of the founding members of BMRSG who are standing down from their long term positions on the committee and taking up new roles.Read more

  • 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