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The next meeting will be held on:

Saturday 27th February, 2021 
 Time: 2pm

at: Helen Tompson’s home:
64 Akala Avenue, Forster
(last house in street, by the round-about)
Everyone is welcome to come along and bring your friends. 
With a full agenda the meetings usually go for an hour and a half with plenty of time for friendly discussion.

The meeting is always followed by a nice hot cup of tea. 
COVID-19 restrictions in place

For those members interested in current UNHCR information the link below is to the UNHCR website Global Refugee. This is the organisation that Gillian Triggs joined in Geneva. 

UNHCR Web Site

Craig Forster, of ex Socceroo fame has launched a campaign called “#Game Over” on Facebook and website. Medivac asylum seekers are being held in hotels and motels under guard. A Border force guard at the Brisbane Motel tested positive to the COVID-19 and could have infected many detainess in the motel.

Craig Forster writes-

“At a time when our energies are needed to refocus on helping fellow Australians at risk from CVID-19, particularly through the community of sport, a message for every human stranded offshore as the health crisis only exacerbates 7 years of pain, and those detained onshore in APOD’s (alternative places of detention , hotels) for months on end without fresh air or sunlight.

We’re thinking of you , you’re not forgotten and after an infection in the Brisbane hotel we will be calling for all asylum seekers to be provided with safe, community accommodation immediately.
For the guys offshore, please hang on.

I know @australiaforunhcr @unhcr_gr suspended resettlemnt because of travel concern, and we will continue to encourage Australians to join #Game Over at and to be ready when the moment comes to call for your long overdue freedom.

All our love and support #Game Over”

All welcome to Great Lakes Rural Australians for Refugees HUMAN RIGHTS DAY EVENT.

Our guest speaker will be PHIL GLENDENNING AM Director of the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice And Community Education President of the Refugee Council of Australia


The Global Refugee Forum was held in Geneva recently and Australia’s treatment of detained asylum seekers and refugees on Manus Island and Nauru was described by the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi as a “festering wound”. The Refugee Council of Australia sponsored two refugees to enable them to address the Forum. It is a shameful disgrace for this to be said about Australia on the world stage. For further information on this issue visit Refugee Coucil of Australia through our LINKS page for their full news report.

Kaldor Centre as launched an evidence based refugee policy agenda. This agenda was launched by David Gonski in Sydney this week. Professor Jane Mc Adam, who leads the Kaldor Centre , has labled the current policy as inhuman, unsustaindable and fiscally irresponsible. A fresh look at the existing policies is necessary as the current legislation is a hotch-potch of repressive, on world standards, illegal measures to destroy human lives.

For more information please go to the Kaldor Cenre on GLRAR web LINKS.

A letter to our politicians reinforcing the recomendations in the Kaldor Centre Principles of Australian Refugee Policy and the key priorities would help to force a change.

The lack of a Bill of Rights or at least a Charter of Rights that protect the human rights of the Australian people has been highlighted over the past week by the Australian Federal Police raids on the ABC building in Sydney, and the seizure of documents, and the 7 hour searh on the Canberra home of Annika Smethurst a journalist for The Australian news paper.

Former President of the Human Rights Commission Prof. Gillian Triggs has written in her book “Finding My Way” the following:-

“Human rights apply to everyone, all the time. Those whose rights need protecting are not always socially worthy citizens. Human rights defenders do not pick and choose whom to protect. And this is the point. Vulnerable people, usually minorities and sometimes unpopular people, all have the right to enjoy fundamental freedoms and respect as human beings.”

Retired Brigidine Nun Sister Jane Keogh was quest speaker at an afternoon tea held by Great Lakes Rural Australians for Refugees on Saturday 16th June.

One of the most disturbing stories Sr. Jane told concerned the family of the 26yr old man who recently committed suicide on Nauru. This man had appealed for medical help frequently for the past year as he was very depressed. No professional psychiatric help is readily available. His 12 year old brother also had appealed for help for his mother who is very ill and has depression. The brother’s suicide has resulted in this young boy being taken into care in Nauru. The mother is left on her own in a camp tent with no family to help her.

This is a tragic story about the lives of real people. They are not numbers on a boat. The most distressing fact that Sr.Jane made was that this was just one amongst hundreds of stories that have been recorded by those that Australia has detained on off-shore islands.

There have been two men suicide on these island centres in the past two weeks and twelve people have died in detention off-shore in the past four years. This is a disgrace to Australia and could have well been avoided through sympathetic and proper health and management.

Children made up 51% of the worlds’ refugees in 2015. These statistics are from the United Nations High Commission for Refugee’s report for 2017.
There are 65.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide.
Refugees number 22.5 million. There are over 30 Million people who are internally displaced within their country of origin,
10 Million people are stateless people, and only 189,300 people have been resettled in a safe country.

Over half the refugees come from just three countries, Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan. Since this report was prepared there has been an exodus of approx. 450,000 Rohingya from Myanmar across the border into Bangladesh.

More on this report can be accessed on this sites Links page under the Refugee Council of Australia’s link

The Fast Track processing that DIBP has introduced has resulted in a further denial of Justice to those seeking asylum. The process has made it more restrictive, and raised the approval bar a little higher in order to reduce the number of people eligible for refugee status.

Some statistics that demonstrate the injustice are:-

  • The time asylum seekers have waited to be allowed to apply – Up to 4 years
  • Number of people seeking asylum under Fast Track – 24,500
  • Number of people who have lodged applications – 12,500
  • Number of people who have yet to lodge applications – 12,000
  • Number of applications lodged with DIBP each month – 1,500
  • Applications processed by DIBP each month – 500

At this rate all application may be finalised by 2019/20. The DIBP has given those outstanding 12,000 asylum seekers 4 weeks to submit their applications. It is close to impossible for asylum seekers to get their applications prepared in that time,

Prior to Fast Track over 90% of applications were approved

After Fast Track introduced less that 70% of applications have been approved