“You should have seen her. as she left to start the new school year at Lidcome Public, “said Noeline from Katoomba.     “She was so excited and proud of her new uniform.  It meant so much to her to have brand new clothes and new shiny shoes. She can’t stop looking at her shoes.”

This is Evashka.

Evashka loves her school hat – she’s never had a hat before – and she loves the ‘A’ – for Auburn Public School!

“You would love her,” says Kate from Blaxland, “I could not believe how quickly she became fluent in English after only 2 days a week and only 6 months at school last year. She has long outstripped her parents in English.   She can already read and write some words.  The other day asked me why I had an extra “e” on the end of my name.  I explained that A had two sounds and the E would change/ or let the reader know it was different.  She comprehended completely!  She thinks she will be and engineer.  And to think that Australia did not want such a bright spark. One day the whole world may be thankful for her skills.”

These are only two of the refugee children living in Western Sydney that the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group has had to help kit out for the start of school this year.

Just in January alone the BMRSG has spent over $2,000.00 on 41 students from 18 families providing assistance to purchase uniforms, shoes (largest item), lunch boxes, pens, pencil,exercise books, binders etc, and even computers for secondary students.

Most of these families are on visas without work rights. They must survive on 89%  per fortnight of the Centerline Allowance. Some families have been placed in flats which are absolutely bare – no beds, tables, blankets, cooking utensils, not even a fork.  From our store and with the help of Adelaide and her band of helpers only last week the BMRSG provided everything for two families – even refrigerators and washing machines. Since the Red Cross has had its funding cut we find our services even more in demand.

Most of them are very proud and are reluctant to ask for things not even when they run short of food. Sometimes our members have to be very tactful when they see a real need before offering assistance.  Like all families they put their children first so school equipment is very welcome.


We desperately need drivers who have access to trailers and anyone who has a licence to drive a truck –  and strong arms for lifting and delivering these goods.  Contact George on 4782 7866 if you can help.

To find out how to donate go to:

Donations which can be sent to the Treasurer P O Box 197 Katoomba NSW 2780     BMRSG Acc: 062559 BSB: 10183402.

Be sure to include your name for the receipt or

Use ‘Everyday Hero’.


Contributed by Mare Standen for BMRSG



















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