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Welcome The Asylum Seeker Parish Support

As we reflect on the Easter story, let us pray that Easter blessings will flow to all people seeking asylum. In his presentation at our March Forum, Phil Glendenning AM captivated the audience with statements such as "Leadership requires voices to be heard and that’s where people in parish groups come into play. (Parishes) need to say we’ve got to stop treating these people cruelly."

"We have to advocate for the change we want to see, that will provide hope for people." Together, let's do this in the year ahead.
Download our Welcome Newsletter for Easter 2017.

St Bridget’s, Greythorn, Refugee Action Committee prepared this report, which demonstrates how 2016 was a remarkable year of action in response to Pope Francis' call for each parish to "Welcome the Stranger In your midst", and to assist a refugee family.  In January, a partnership was consolidated with St Dominic’s in Camberwell, who agreed to provide 50% of rental assistance for a family. Our members participated in a CatholicCare training program in March which challenged us to think carefully about our role in aiding asylum seekers.
CAPSA (Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum) has released a Toolkit for Refugee Action, which includes three actions that parishes and groups can undertake to  support refugees and people seeking asylum: Circles of Silence, #RightTrack Community Conversations and guidelines for Meetings with members of parliament. One of the most effective ways you can advocate for people seeking asylum is to visit your local MPs and let them know what you think.  Click here for the Toolkit.

On Sunday, 9 April 2017 thousands walked in solidarity for refugees, despite dire weather forecasts. 200 people met initially at St Patrick's Cathedral for prayer, led by Fr Joe Caddy, Episocal Vicar for Social Services.

Mr Peter Dutton, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, remains unresponsive to our call that detention centres safeguard the dignity, wellbeing and personal security of their residents. Click here for our letter; and here for the response from Australia Border Force. Following up on the accountability system outlined in that response, we have now referred the matter to the Ombudsman.

Come and walk in solidarity with parishes, organisations and many others Walking for Justice for refugees and people seeking asylum.  Last year an estimated 15,000 people attended the Palm Sunday Walk for Justice. Come and hear about the current needs and priorities of people seeking asylum and what is being done to support them. 

Thirty five people gathered at Cardinal Knox Centre on Saturday 18 March 2017 to reflect upon what parishes can do to support asylum seekers and refugees as part of the Strengthening Parish Support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees forum. Key speakers included Phil Glendenning AM, President of the Refugee Council of Australia and Director of the Edmund Rice Centre; Fr Peter Carrucan, a ‘Good Samaritan’ to refugees for many years; and Terefe Aborete a refugee from Ethiopia in 1995.

Catholic Social Services has added a new paper to its Key Documents for Parishes, to provide information on the settlement needs of new families, and how you can support them. Download document here
People seeking asylum continue to need our support. Many thousands in the community and in detention are living in Australia in fear, poverty and uncertainty.  Many more are detained on Nauru and Manus Island, with others “free”, with nowhere to go. Self harm, suicide and death are common. Recent humanitarian family arrivals from Syria need our support. The forum will increase awareness of current issues and what parishes can do to help.

Today, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) released the first ever State of the Nation report, a comprehensive investigation into the experiences of those seeking safety and settling in Australia within the broader context of the global crisis of human displacement. 

Click here to read report. 
 

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Catholic Social Services Victoria acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Elders in each of the Communities where we work.
 
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