A coalition of Victorian groups campaigning for rights for refugees in Australia

COVID-19 Response for Refugees

There are two email actions below that you can take. The first email action is below: Don’t let immigration detention centres become hotspots for COVID-19   Click here for the second email action or scroll down further. COVID-19 crisis – Refugees and people seeking asylum need income support – just like everyone else See list of contacts for Premiers and key ministers at the bottom of this page and also here: First Email Action – COVID-19 Thanks to Canberra Refugee Action…

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PALM SUNDAY JUSTICE FOR REFUGEES – Virtual Event – 5th April 2020 – Social Media campaign and Online Actions

Advocacy groups across Australia took online action for refugee rights on Palm Sunday 2020 More than 40 Australian agencies united on Palm Sunday, 5 April to host a two-hour online event championing justice and dignity for refugees and people seeking asylum. The theme for this year’s event was “For a Just Future”. Some News articles on the online event are below: Event in WA Article about the online event Event in Whyalla AAP article about the event SPEAK UP for…

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BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: The Crisis in Australian Immigration Detention

Symposium BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: The Crisis in Australian Immigration Detention Friday 21 February 2020 9.30am – 12.30pm Facebook live stream videos of the event are here: Video 1 Video 2 Video 3 Organised by The Refugee Advocacy Network, an informal network of groups and individuals active in refugee advocacy in Victoria, and hosted by the Melbourne Law School WELCOME Prof John Tobin, University of Melbourne CONTEXT Alison Battisson, Human Rights for All STORIES FROM THE INSIDE – a former detainee and regular visitors…

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You can take action - email the federal Treasurer and tell him that no-one should be left with no income - extend JobSeeker and Job Keeper to provide for people on temporary visas, including people who are seeking asylum. Email: josh.frydenberg.MP@aph.gov.au #justice4refugees #nobodyleftbehind ...

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#nobodyleftbehind #Justice4Refugees ...

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The Peace and Prosperity Kitchen Garden Program involves the women visiting Government House weekly, to take part in activities together such as cooking, gardening and handicrafts, as well as enjoying tours of the House and garden. The program provides participants with an opportunity to enjoy the company of other women in an inclusive environment and to build social connections, develop an increased sense of belonging in their community and to practise their English language skills. About 25 women participate in the program each school term. They are members from Community Hubs in schools across Melbourne and are encouraged to reconnect with participants once the program has ended. Participants volunteer to be part of the program and select their preferred program activities. A horticulturist is employed to maintain the kitchen garden.

The program was developed in partnership with Community Hubs Australia and the Scanlon Foundation.
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New Humans of Australia have been sharing beautiful stories from refugees and migrants for years. 💛

#welcomerefugees #justice4refugeesMy family is originally from Afghanistan, but when the Taliban took over, they started the genocide of the Hazara people there. Unfortunately, we are very easy to identify because we have distinctive facial features so it wasn’t safe for us to live there anymore. As a result, just before I was born, my family fled to Iran, where it was safer and easier for us at first. However, over time things also became bad for us there because the government and the people were really discriminatory and there was a lot of racism.

Eventually, my dad decided to leave and to come to Australia by boat. Three years later, when I was 12, he was able to sponsor us to join him here. Coming to Australia was difficult for us. We had very few family friends, we didn’t speak very good English and we were a large family - I’m number five out of six children. Also, although my brothers wanted to work, they couldn’t find a job. They needed a resume and where we come from we don’t have resumes.

About two years after we arrived, I found out how many programs and services there were for people who are new to Australia, like resume-building workshops and classes to help you find jobs. But as my dad had sponsored us to come here, we didn’t have a caseworker to tell us about any of these services. We were just left alone. So when I saw all these programs we could have used for the two years we’d been here, I was pretty shocked and upset.

Last year, I was at a hackathon and my team came in second place. The theme of the hackathon was social impact for migrants and refugees, and our idea was an artificial intelligence chat board to speak with people that experience mental illness and track their moods. Except for me, all my teammates were Australians, and they decided to give me the whole credit for the scholarship we won, which was amazing. I used the money to do a course in user-experience design at Academy XI, and in that course I gained the skills to solve problems effectively in a way that helps others.

I knew there was this problem my family had faced – that we didn’t speak English and we didn’t know about the services or programs or workshops that were available, so we had been put at a disadvantage. Next I thought, ‘Let me just go and see if anybody else has that problem’. First, I ran a survey, and then I went out and interviewed people face to face. And what I found was that this was a problem that many other people were facing. So I decided to solve it.

I came up with an idea for a website to centralise all these programs, services and workshops in one place. It’s in different languages, and it’s personalised so you can find what you want. For example, if you’re looking for employment and building your resume, or you want a white card, you can easily find the resources you need.

I’m in year 12 at the moment, so it’s difficult to manage the website because it’s super time consuming. But I’ve been trying very hard to also focus on school and hopefully I’ll do well for the HSC!

I’m thinking of studying software engineering, or technology information systems at uni. I want to show other Afghan girls that they can do things like become engineers and doctors. In my community, a lot of girls just become nurses because that’s the representation they see. But one of my biggest goals is to empower them to take a bolder stance and to not be ordinary.

Shaqaeq
Afghanistan
Arrived 2013

Photographer: Anne Casey www.facebook.com/silverpepperphotography

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#refugee #refugees #refugeescontribute #migrant #migrants #migration #Hazara #Hazaragirl #Afghanistan #Australia #inspiration #innovation #storiesnotstereotypes
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