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Welcome The Asylum Seeker Parish Support
A joint initiative between the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne campus, and the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office, the Annual Bishop Joseph Grech Memorial Colloquium on Ethics and Migration provides an opportunity for prominent members in the Church and public figures to discuss current topics in migration. 
 
As part of our Welcome the Asylum Seeker Parish Support Program, Catholic Social Services Victoria is hosting a forum for parishes, 'Helping our Refugee Families and Friends' on Saturday 25 August, at the Cardinal Knox Centre, 383 Albert Street, East Melbourne, from 9.30am - 1.00pm. For more information, contact Adrian Foley: adrian.foley@css.org.au
 
There is a great article in The Colac Herald by Ruby Manson about local priest, Father Michael O'Toole, and the valued contribution, role and achievements of the community's African migrants. Read the full article here.
Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers made the news in The New York Times.
"Lives are at risk and we’re unable to deal with the demand,” says Dr Tram Nguyen, the director of mental health services at Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub. "We’re going to see an increased risk of self harm and suicidality - we saw that in Nauru and Manus as policies become harsher." Read more of the report from Miki Perkins in The Age on 22 July 2018, here.
Our July edition of Catholic Parishes Serving the Community newsletter aims to highlight news and events of interest to Catholic parishes and social services agencies. It highlights the ways in which our parishes are assisting, or can further assist the pressing needs of refugees and people seeking asylum, and the ways in which parishes can assist people impacted by domestic and family violence. View the full newsletter, here.
The Australian Government is currently removing basic support payments for a significant number of people seeking asylum. In effect, over 7,000 people will lose their sole, basic source of income, which will have a devastating effect on many vulnerable people in our community. Many Catholic organisations across the country are already providing much-needed material support, however, in this particular time of need, we all are encouraged to do more to help. Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) has compiled a comprehensive list of the ways we can practically help.
 
 
 
Jesuit Refugee Services has welcomed the opportunity to provide feedback on the Department of Home Affairs Discussion Paper on Australia’s Humanitarian Program 2018 – 2019. Its feedback focusses on five areas:
1. Global compacts
2. Australia’s migration program and complementary pathways
3. Protecting forcibly displaced peoples in the Asia Pacific region
4. Onshore protection
5. Family Reunion
Read the full submission, here. 

You are invited to join with other members of CAPSA on the 5th Anniversary of Kevin Rudd's announcement that all asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat after the 19th of July 2013 would be processed offshore and not be resettled in Australia. Since then anyone seeking asylum and protection arriving by boat have been placed in detention in Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island or Nauru. On Thursday 19th July 2018 CAPSA are calling for 15 minute lunchtime ‘Circles of Silence’ as we mourn and stand in solidarity with those people held in detention and refugees still trapped offshore..

In a recent media release Jesuit Refugee Service Australia reported that the Australian federal government has informed civil society organisations that it will cut over a thousand people seeking asylum off vital support services provided through the Status Resolution Support Program from the end of July. 

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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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