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Welcome The Asylum Seeker Parish Support
A Federal Government backbencher wants the asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru who are not accepted by the United States to be resettled in Australia. Russell Broadbent, who has previously spoken out against hardline asylum seeker policies, made the call in a short speech in Parliament. 
Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce affirms Liberal MP’s call to find durable solutions for refugees and close Nauru and Manus.
Frank Brennan has written a compelling article about refugee policy in Eureka street. 

At a workshop as part of the Welcome the Asylum Seeker Parish Support Forum at St Monica's Primary School, Moonee Ponds on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 participants busied themselves writing letters to their Government representatives requesting more humane responses to the treatment of those on Manus Island and Nauru, the tragedy of children in detention and requesting an increase in the number of Syrian refugees received in Australia. 

The Fifth National Conference of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Education Office was held at the Melbourne campus of Australian Catholic University, on 18 and 19 July. This year’s theme is 'Cast into the deep' focussed on the care of migrants and refugees who are coming to Australia—an issue that is heavily debated by the Australian public.

The conference is responding to Pope Francis’ call to go out to the margins of society and 'cast into the deep' (Luke 5:4) and hosted Cardinals Turkson and Quevedo and 130 bishops, priests, religious and lay people. The focus was on pastoral support for the world’s refugees and migrants.
 

The Government is seeking to legislate substantial changes to make it more difficult for people to gain citizenship, especially those from non-English speaking backgrounds. This will also impact on people who have been granted permanent visas as refugees and are who are waiting to obtain citizenship and it will impact on their family members who have arrived here for family reunification.

 
The proposal has been introduced to the House of Representatives, and has been referred to a Senate Committee. Over the next few weeks, we encourage you to email, write letters and lobby local MPs and parliamentarians of all persuasions to object to these changes.

Sr Brigid Arthur from the Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project and Paris Aristotle AM, CEO of the Foundation for Survivors of Torture, thanked participants at Catholic Social Services' Forum for Parishes (held on 11 July 2017), for maintaining their support for refugees and people seeking asylum.

Sr Brigid contrasted the harsh official treatment of asylum seekers with that of generous people in parishes and communities who advocate for more humane treatment and who provide accommodation and financial support for people, many of whom have been abandoned with absolutely no means of support.
 

All are invited to attend a Culture and History of the South Sudanese Community Forum in Sunshine on Saturday 15 July from 1.30pm to 4pm in St Theresa's Hall, 18 Drummartin St, Albion. This forum sponsored by Pax Christi, an international peace movement, to meet members of the South Sudanese Community in Sunshine, learn about their culture and history, and hear first-hand of their experiences of being refugees in Australia.

Julian Burnside QC, together with Syrian refugees Omar and Saad Al-Kassab, will join with the Montmorency Asylum Seekers Support Group on Friday 28th July, at 7.00pm to discuss the experiences of people seeking asylum in Australia, and Australia’s treatment of refugees.
Volunteers are vital to our work in supporting parishes and social services agencies who assist the most vulnerable in our community. We're hoping to welcome a new volunteer to our team, to assist us in providing support to Catholic parishes as centres of service and outreach. Areas where particular help is needed include:
 
* parish liaison and relationship building, including communication with parishes about forthcoming events
* Researching and writing article for our website, newsletters and parish forums
* Organising and assisting with the delivery of Welcome the Asylum Seeker forums and Re-imagining Parish Service Expos. 
 
Download flyer here.

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