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Vinnies calls for release of refugees from Brisbane detention centre

Peter Arndt at refugee vigil

THE St Vincent de Paul Society has called for the release of refugees detained in hotels in Brisbane and Melbourne. The society’s national president Claire Victory, in a statement coinciding with the seventh anniversary of the start of Australia’s regime of off-shore immigration detention, reiterated the charity’s call for the immediate release of the refugees into safer accommodation. The statement ... Read More »

Family friend of Biloela Tamils stuck on Christmas Island says mental health of two daughters at risk

Biloela Tamil family

A FRIEND of the Biloela Tamil family at the centre of a high-profile legal battle to stay in Australia says the mental health of the family’s two young children is deteriorating as wait on Christmas Island for a ruling. Nadesalingam Murugappan, known as Nades, and Kokilapathmapriya Nadesalingam, known as Priya, and their two Australian born daughters Kopika, 4, and Tharunicaa, ... Read More »

Refugee who escaped West-African war zone among Queensland Day award winners

IF Binta Lamin could remember the first three years of her life, they might be overshadowed by pictures of her family rehabilitating from a bloody and horrific war zone. The Year 12 student from Lourdes Hill College was born in Guinea after her mother, a Sierra Leone native, fled from the devastating 11-year-long civil war. The war killed an estimated ... Read More »

Meet the Rwandan Catholic saving taxpayers millions by giving refuges and migrants a dream

“A LACK of dream, a lack of belonging; the best way to combat youth crime is not to build bigger detention centres,” Sunnybank parishioner Protais Muhirwa, who founded Active Refugee and Migrant Integration in Australia five years ago, said. “It’s wrong, it’s very wrong; when they release them they’re worse criminals. “The best way to combat terrorism, it’s not to ... Read More »

Staying or going, a Tamil family becomes the face of Australia’s border policies in deportation dispute

THE plight of boat people being allowed to stay in Australia is being tested after a Tamil family from Biloela was granted a mid-air temporary reprieve from deportation. Mother Priya and her husband Nadesalingam and their two Australian-born children were removed from a plane taking them from Melbourne to Sri Lanka on August 30. A last-minute court injunction forced their flight to ... Read More »

Escaping conflict and encampment, African refugees rise to leadership and strive to put God first

ONE of Brisbane’s oldest schools has for the first time named two African refugees as college captains, identifying the pair as leaders strongly committed to their faith and to Catholic social justice. The new captains at Brisbane’s inner-city St James College are Mariam Ajang, born in a refugee camp in Kenya after her family fled war-torn Sudan, and Paul Paul, ... Read More »

Dominican priest condemns separation of Tamil family after husband’s deportation

Fr Pancras Jordan

A BRISBANE Dominican priest has added his voice to calls for fair process for asylum seekers and their families, after a Tamil man was deported from Australia and then arrested in Sri Lanka. “This is calculated cruelty. It contravenes the basic right of the family,” Fr Pan Jordan, who works closely with Brisbane’s Tamil community, said. On July 13, the ... Read More »

Child asylum seeker finds holiday heaven away from Nauru ‘hell’

art with child refugees

“IT was like you’re living in hell.” This is how a chatty 11-year-old Iranian asylum seeker described the five years she spent in detention on Nauru. “Because it’s really hard,” Esta* said. “After 7pm you can’t go out because it’s not safe – they might hide in the bush and attack you.” Esta was five when she and her family ... Read More »

Biloela battles for Sri Lankan family taken from their home to detention

Biloela protest

RESIDENTS of the Central Queensland town of Biloela have ramped up a campaign demanding the return of a local asylum-seeker family seized by Australian Border Force officials and placed in a Melbourne detention centre. In a dawn operation on March 5, Tamils Nadesalingam and Priya and their two Australian-born daughters were taken from their home. The couple were put into ... Read More »

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