Guided by Justice and Compassion

  • Canadian minister talks up benefits of immigration on Australia visit

    Canadian minister talks up benefits of immigration on Australia visit

    Canada’s immigration minister is something of a global anomaly at the moment.

    Not only is Ahmed Hussen a former refugee, but someone who loudly and regularly advocates the benefits of immigration in what he calls a “world of closing doors”.

    Mr Hussen spoke at the University of New South Wales on Friday as part of his multi-city visit to Australia, where he championed a more progressive stance on immigration and refugee policy.
    And for him, the topic is not just a portfolio, but a lived experience.
    At 16, Mr Hussen escaped the civil war in Somalia and fled to Canada. He went on to study and practice law, before becoming the country’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship last year.

    Listen to Admed Hussen’s address at the Kaldor CentreRead more

  • ‘Refugees are not illegal’ says Julian Burnside at Springwood luncheon

    ‘Refugees are not illegal’ says Julian Burnside at Springwood luncheon

    Prominent human rights lawyer, Julian Burnside AO QC, spoke to members of the local Blue Mountains community about his refugee advocacy work at the Royal Hotel in Springwood on Sunday 26 August 2018.
    Introducing Mr. Burnside, Ms. Doyle congratulated the BMRSG for organising the function and welcomed the ‘great honour of introducing a great man.’
    In his address, Mr. Burnside praised the Blue Mountains community for supporting refugees and also acknowledged the local families that have welcomed refugees into their homes.
    Julian Burnside said it was wrong for the Australian government to send legitimate refugees back to harm.
    Read more

  • Bishop Long in Blackheath for Migrant and Refugee Sunday

    Bishop Long in Blackheath for Migrant and Refugee Sunday

    Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen visited Sacred Heart Church Blackheath on Sunday 26 August for Migrant and Refugee Sunday.
    Bishop Long fled Vietnam on a refugee boat in 1979, following two of his brothers who had already left, and reached Malaysia, where he spent 16 months in a refugee camp where he learned English. He reached in Australia in 1980.
    In his homily he discussed Pope Francis’ invitation to be “Welcoming, Protecting, Promoting and Integrating towards Migrants and Refugees”.Read more

  • What is ‘The Global Compact” and why is it important?

    What is ‘The Global Compact” and why is it important?

    Peter Dutton announced to Ray Hadley that Australia was not signing ‘The Global Compact”. So what it is?
    It is the first universal instrument to provide common frameworks, guiding principles and approaches to deal with international migration. It has been developed over 18 months of multi-stakeholder consultations and six rounds of negotiations between UN member states with conflicting interests.
    The final draft, completed on 18 July 2018,
    Read two concise informative summaries that explain what it is and why it is important.Read more

  • Report on BMRSG visit to the federal politicians 18 and 19 June 2018

    Report on BMRSG visit to the federal politicians 18 and 19 June 2018

    Joy Connor, Deputy Chair BMRSG visited politicians in Canberra with Marie Sellstrom President of Rural Australians for Refugees. First they met with Peter Dutton’s main advisor and an advisor then they met with Shayne Neumann, Ged Kearney, Sue Templeman and the Advisor to Kristina Keneally.
    At these meetings they discussed Immigration Detention, the use of handcuffs on people seeking asylum when they went to medical and counselling appointments, SRSS, resettlement, The Amendments to the Migration Act, the RAR Statement on People Seeking Refuge and Asylum and the Andrew Wilkie Bill.
    Read more

  • Local Tibetans thank the Blue Mountains community with a cultural celebration for Dalai Lama’s 83rd Birthday

    Local Tibetans thank the Blue Mountains community with a cultural celebration for Dalai Lama’s 83rd Birthday

    Blue Mountains locals were welcomed to a traditional Tibetan cultural celebration to commemorate the 14th Dalai Lama’s 83rd birthday last Friday at the old library in Katoomba.
    The event gave exiled Tibetans living in the Blue Mountains an opportunity to thank the Blue Mountains community and celebrate the Dalai Lama’s birthday with the taste, colour, music and dance of Tibet.

    There are approximately 50 Tibetan adults and children living in the Blue Mountains and many arrived in Australia on humanitarian visas. All of them are refugees or children of refugees who fled Tibet after the Chinese occupation in 1950 and made the long trek over the Himalayas to reach safety in Nepal.
    The first Tibetan refugee settled in Katoomba nine years ago and others arrived after the Dalai Lama visited the Blue Mountains in 2015. In the last six months some families have arrived directly from India on humanitarian visas. Ms Dhongdue praised the local community saying that Tibetan refugees had been ‘embraced with warmth and love’.
    Read more