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Vinnies tutoring program helps refugees embrace new life in Australia

VoRTCS tutors and refugee student Salim

A GROUP of complete strangers from Brisbane have become the lifeline for a refugee family of seven who escaped their war-ravaged country three years ago. Fifteen-year-old Salim, his mother and five siblings left their home country of Somalia, which has been marred by an ongoing civil war, and arrived in Australia as refugees in what Salim said was a search ... Read More »

Wooloowin students knitting hope for refugees

Holy Cross, Wooloowin students yarnbombing

HOLY Cross School, Wooloowin, has joined the yarn-bombing phenomena in support of refugees and asylum seekers. A colourful yarn-bombing art piece was “installed” on a tall ghost gum tree on the school’s front lawn to the delight of students. Titled Safe Harbour, the piece depicts a tumultuous ocean with a lighthouse providing welcome and refuge for people displaced because of ... Read More »

All Hallows’ graduate shocked by refugee visa process starts charity to support child asylum seekers

Rory McGahan

SEEING asylum seekers struggle to fill out a “deliberately impossible” visa application has motivated a Catholic school graduate to give child refugees a better chance at staying in Australia. All Hallows’ School graduate from 2014, Rory McGahan, is the co-founder of The Unknown Project, a new Brisbane-based initiative that sells wrapped second-hand books to buy school resources for young asylum ... Read More »

Agencies in Toowoomba help warm refugees this winter

coat rack campaign

CATHOLIC agencies and ministries in Toowoomba have joined a campaign to help migrants and refugees in the area keep warm during winter. Catholic Care Social Services, Toowoomba Refugee and Migrant Support and Mercy Community Services partnered with Multicultural Development Australia (MDA Ltd) Toowoomba for the “Toowoomba Coat Rack” campaign. Winter can be a tough season for many people who are ... Read More »

Dominican priest joins Christian refugee advocates in week-long prayer vigil outside Brisbane immigration office

Fr Pan Jordan

IN the lead-up to Refugee Week, Christians have held daily vigils outside the Brisbane offices of the Department of Immigration calling for a fair onshore assessment process for asylum seekers. Thousands of asylum seekers living in Australia have been given until October 1 to submit their asylum claims, or risk deportation. “They are traumatised people, they didn’t keep a record ... Read More »

Vinnies CEO says “fake refugee” claims lack fairness and justice

Dr John Falzon Vinnies CEO

CHURCH groups have condemned a Federal Government ultimatum to thousands of asylum seekers to lodge their claims to stay in Australia within four months, or have their welfare axed and face deportation. “This latest announcement is cruel, morally reprehensible and a fundamental repudiation of the Government’s moral and legal obligations to those seeking asylum in Australia,” the St Vincent de ... Read More »

Legal aid staff claims ‘Fast Track’ assessment is putting people at risk

Fast Track assessment claims unfair

QUEENSLAND’S only two clinics offering free legal services for asylum seekers whose claims are being assessed in the Fast Track assessment say the process is unfair for refugees. Salvos Legal Humanitarian Asylum Seeker Clinic and Refugee and Immigration Legal Services are the only legal clinics in Queensland offering free assistance for asylum seekers being processed in the Fast Track cohort. ... Read More »

Parramatta bishop urges Australia to do more for refugees and asylum seekers during Brisbane trip

Bishop Vincent Long

AUSTRALIA can and should do more to help refugees and asylum seekers, the Catholic bishops’ delegate on those concerns Bishop Vincent Long said. Bishop Long made that clear during a recent meeting in Brisbane with refugee families from Syria and Iraq and their supporters. He was taking questions during the gathering in St Joseph’s Church, Bracken Ridge, when one of ... Read More »

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