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Welcome The Asylum Seeker Parish Support
On 20 June 2018, it is World Refugee Day. If you are in Ballarat on this date, treat yourself at a Soup and Sandwich Luncheon organised by the House of Welcome as part of national Refugee Week, 16 - 24 June.
‘Walk in their footsteps’ was both the challenge and the invitation thrown down by Julian Burnside QC over the weekend. Across Saturday and Sunday, St Brigid’s Mordialloc and St Louis de Montfort’s Aspendale held a photo exhibition at St Brigid’s, to raise awareness about the plight of refugees and asylum seekers. Combined with a large number of international award winning images, several of them Pulitzer prize winning shots, the schools’ own primary students contributed and displayed their own original art, expressing their view of the world’s present humanitarian crisis.

Starting in late 2017, the government began excluding full-time students including many on scholarships, and those who had sent over $1,000 overseas to help relatives. Now the government is reducing payments to many more asylum seekers.

 

Catholic Social Services Victoria supports Catholic parishes as centres of service, mission and outreach. Our latest newsletter (March 2018) highlights how Catholic parishes are at the coal face of providing services and support to the wider community. They are often the living sign of the Gospel at work. It includes latest news related to parishes and services, and upcoming events. View newsletter, here.
The Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project is hosting a film fundraiser on Sunday 15 April, at 3.30pm at Kino Cinema in Collins Street, to help raise money for its important work of supporting asylum seekers. The film, The Other Side of Hope, is about a stowaway man from Syria who arrives in Norway seeking refuge. Click here, to book  |  Download flyer, here.
 
At the recent Hearing Healing Hope conference, a workshop to garner the thoughts of delegates from around the country was held on one of Australia’s most vexing issues: how should we support asylum seekers? Parishioners and representatives from Catholic service agencies from Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory attended the workshop. Presentations were given by Sr Brigid Arthur csb (Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project) and Tracey Cabrie (Centre Manager - Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub).
Houses of Hope is a project providing affordable housing, case management, practical support and English conversation to people
seeking asylum. The  Houses of Hope team is hosting two upcoming events to raise awareness and funds for asylum seekers through this Project. A host of activities are taking place on the weekend of Saturday/ Sunday, 24/25 March 2018, to help raise funds.
                                                                                                                                                                                             
Pope Francis has challenged all of us with his action plan for Asylum Seekers and Refugees: to Welcome, to Protect, to Promote and to Integrate. Unfortunately Australia’s sad treatment of Asylum Seekers continues, and so once again we find ourselves needing to make a public witness to 'Welcome the Stranger'. On Palm Sunday, 25th March 2018, there will be a Liturgy of Welcome in St Patrick's Cathedral from 1pm – 1.30pm. Following the Liturgy, we will walk as one Faith Community (down Lonsdale street) to join the larger Public Rally, which starts at 2pm at the State Library. Download flyer.
Do you intend to write letters to your Member of Parliament on burning issues, but it never translates into action? Perhaps now is the time? Our member organisation, Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project has identified the following issues as critical: Temporary visas; Asylum seekers living in destitution in Australia; Asylum seekers sent back to danger. Please assist them by writing to your Federal MP - BASP have provided key points to assist you!
There are currently two petitions before Parliament: One asking for asylum seekers and refugees to be treated humanely and their claims processed in a timely manner.  The other that the recent harsh changes to visiting conditions at detention centres be reversed. 

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