Guided by Justice and Compassion

Listed below are some of the many ways you can get involve with the work of the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group.   These range from writing letters which you can do from home or with a group to being part of our visitors program.    See our current campaign.

Treehouse Theatre at Katoomba High School

Changing Hearts and Minds

We aim to widen public understanding of refugee and asylum seeker issues through:

  • Advocating for fair treatment of those seeking asylum through social media and main stream media,
  • Writing submissions and engaging with politicians,
  • Involving our schools and young people in a range of activities such as speakers, theatrical events and the Christmas ‘Welcome Shoesbox Project’.

Writing Letters

BMRSG Writing Group

TAKE ACTION Write to your politician

From time we are asked to write to politicians. We offer guidelines and addresses to Senators and Members of the House of Representatives.

Writing Letters Read more

Join the BMRSG Writing Group

BMRSG Writing Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 11 am at the home of Judy Reynolds in Leura.   Members write to politicans on a current topic relevant to refugee issues.    New members encouraged.  Come when you can.

If you are interested contact socialmedia@bmrsg.org.au

Help with Events

Julian Burnside lunch

We are always looking for people who can help organise events. When an event is scheduled we often ask for help with selling tickets, serving tea and coffee, manning a stall, selling raffle tickets, etc. If you would like to help with events please email events@bmrsg.org.au

Fundraising

In 2020 BMRSG is supporting about 50 households of asylum seekers in Western Sydney (a household may include more than one family). Many of these people have been cut off from the federal government’s SRSS program, leaving them with no financial support at all.  People on bridging visas without centrelink/medicare or work rights are particularly disadvantaged.  The assistance that we provide is absolutely necessary for people to maintain their lives here at the most basic level.

We are also seeing deportations of asylum seekers back to places where they are likely to experience persecution including imprisonment, torture, even execution. A barrister can issue a writ which stops this process until the case is heard in court. Lives can be saved in this way but barristers are expensive.

BMRSG needs to raise more than $50,000 each year to maintain its important and necessary commitments to refugees and asylum seekers.

If you are interested in assisting with fundraising activities such as organising events, selling raffle tickets, helping with online campaigns, providing afternoon tea for events etc. contact our Secretary by email at secretary@bmrsg.org.au

Donations of Smart Phones and Laptops

Smart phone and laptop

BMRSG no longer collects and distributes furniture and clothing.
There is another service now operating in Sydney, The Generous and Grateful, so we will be referring any needs to them.

A huge thank you to our many volunteer drivers, offsiders and donors who made this service possible and to Adelaide, Julie Martin, Denise Thorpe and others who have coordinated it previously.

We will continue to collect smart phones and laptop computers.

1. Computers/Smartphones for Refugees
Got a laptop or desktop you no longer use? It could make the world of difference to a student at school or TAFE, or to assist those living in the community to access information and communicate with home.
Requirements:

  • Any working PC/Windows or MAC desktops and laptops that are less than 5 years old.
  • Working monitors, printers, keyboards and mice

Please contact:         
Merren (PC/Windows) on 0422553936 or computers@bmrsg.org.au
Robert (MAC) on phones@bmrsg.org.au

Note Contact details have changed   

Smartphones and tablets
Smartphones are an essential communication tool for everybody in 2020, especially for people still in detention or isolated in their community.

We need about 20 mobiles per year to keep up with demand.

Requirements: Smartphones or Tablets less than 5 years old, unlocked, cleared and password free.
(Help can be provided with clearing phones if required). 

Please contact Robert on phones@bmrsg.org.au

If donating these, please either clear them or provide a password so we can clear them for you.
Send to Robert at phones@bmrsg.org.au 

Download the flyer below and display at work, local club, or shop to help us in our quest for late model computers and phones for refugees.

DOWNLOAD :   Flyer

 

 

Employ an Asylum Seeker

BMRSG helped this welder find work

Asylum seekers, in their bid for protection and resettlement want what ordinary Australians desire – a fair go. They don’t want special treatment, they want an opportunity to make their own way and not be dependent on charity or government. If you can employ someone directly, or refer someone who may be able to offer employment please contact refugee_employment on refugee_employment@bmrsg.org.au.
Read more

Become a Visitor

Visiting can be challenging. It demands a regular commitment and a high level of interpersonal skills and sensitivity. You will need to be a financial member of BMRSG, complete a Confidentiality Agreement and a Working with Children Check. There is a selection and induction process.

Community Visitors

Community visiting can be both rewarding and confronting. Visitors see refugees and asylum seekers who live in the community, usually in Western Sydney. Each household is different, so needs and support vary widely. At times this might mean simply befriending a family or an individual. At other times this might involve supplying basic food and household supplies, vouchers, lifts to medical appointments or organising furniture and bikes. The people we support often face hurdles with bureaucracy and need help tackling forms. Communicating with real estate agents/property owners and school, or organising repairs and appointments are things where we are frequently asked to help. Liaising with caseworkers and signposting people to other agencies who can provide support, is also a feature of the work.

A few visitors also volunteer to home tutor in English or other subjects.

If you are prepared to travel to Western Sydney and can respond flexibly to a wide range of ever changing needs, community visiting may suit you. There is a small contribution to travel expenses and arrangements for re-imbursement of costs, within agreed guidelines

DOWNLOAD:  Community Visitor Guidelines

If you are interested please contact communityvisitors@bmrsg.org.au  for an informal discussion about the role.

Villawood Immigration Detention Centre

Villawood Visitors

BMRSG Teams visit Villawood Detention Centre regularly. Like visiting in the community the role requires a sustained commitment in order to build trust. Visitors provide a friendly face, food, conversation and links to the outside world. At times you will need to be prepared to listen to some distressing experiences so a high level of self-care is also necessary. You will also be confronted with the high security demands of the prison-like environment.

For more information email villawood_visitors@bmrsg.org.au