A group of concerned Australians living in a regional area outside Sydney
To encourage positive attitudes to refugees in the community and at all levels of government.
To welcome, befriend and assist refugees facing uncertain futures, in detention and in the community.
Practical, emotional and financial assistance for refugees and to encourage positive attitudes to refugees in the community and at all levels of government
The joy of giving and the satisfaction of being involved in a worthwhile project coincided recently.
Chris Cather and Hugh Clarke, Year 9 students at Blaxland High School, helped prevent a much loved but ageing Nissan Pulsar from going to the wreckers and instead turned it into a treasure for a low income refugee.
Chris and Hugh together with teacher Shaun Halden, grabbed the opportunity to give the car a new life. This was exactly what Sarah Emerson and her son, Owen, had in mind when they gifted the car to Blaxland High School for use in the Metal and Automotive program for Years 9 and 10Read more
An update from one of the BMRSG visitors after going into Villawood on 24 January. “Everyone is upset about the authoritarian and rigid rules about visitors, no games allowed in, no cooked food 7 days notice for visitors and only one detainee per visitor plus random strip searchers after meeting a visitor. Only 3 of our detainees came out to visit with us this week out of 6 but we did invent some fun games and had a good time, Very few families came into the compounds this week as the processes and forms are complex and hard for people for whom English is a second language.”
Also some background information as to who is in Villawood. Who are 501s?Read more
Over two hundred detainees at two detention centres, Villawood in Sydney and Maribyrnong in Melbourne, have declared a hunger strike in protest at visiting restrictions recently announced by Border Force. The detainees have been on hunger strike for more than 24 hours, since the morning of Monday 15 January.
Posters declaring the changes would apply after 22 January went up unannounced in the centres, last week. Detainees only found out about the policy when told by their visitors.
Under the restrictions, visitors will have to give five days’ notice of any visit, fill in a five-page form, with actual visits restricted to one on one. Visitors will also be required to have 100 points of ID when they attend the detention centre to visit.Read more
While the Detention Centre on Manus Island was forcibly closed by the PNG Government there are still more than 600 men detained in unsafe conditions on Manus Island.
There are approximately 340 people – men, women and children – held in the Nauru detention centre, including 43 children. A further 750 people have been released into the tiny Nauruan community, including more than 100 children. They have temporary visas, very limited rights, and they cannot leave the island.
Read this concise update of what is continuing to happen on Manus Island and Nauru by the Bellingen and Nambucca District RAR. Jan 2018.Read more
On Tuesday 5 December 2017 Kathie Herbert and Roger Grealy represented BMRSG at a seminar conducted by the Edmund Rice Centre (ERC).
The Edmund Rice Centre hosted a film screening and discussion – A Well Founded Fear: 10 years on – What’s happened since? Where to from here?
The Australian Government sends back people it doesn’t think are refugees. But the Government never finds out what happens to the people it rejects.
10 years ago, filmmakers followed Phil Glendenning as he tracked down several deportees to find out how they were faring.Read more
In this the 3rd year of the Youth Shoebox Project even more were received. More than 203 were delivered to children and young people seeking refuge and asylum.
This project is a joint effort with Mountains Youth Services Team (MYST) and Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group (BMRSG) – working together to spread love and support.Read more