June 2021 newsletter: Covid-19 latest | NSW Budget exclusion | Nadira’s story

June 29, 2021

Once again we find our Sydney community in lockdown and we are all very concerned about the people we support. On this fourth day of stay-at-home orders we have already had a flood of calls from people we support asking for help because they have lost work. People who wash cars, drive taxis, work in bars and as cleaners. People who are casual workers and cannot work from home.

During the last lockdown we maintained our services remotely, via home delivery and in person by appointment. We did not miss one day of supporting people when they really needed it.

During the next two weeks, and beyond, we will continue.

To keep our community safe against the highly infectious new strain of Covid-19 we are going to support people with grocery vouchers. Instead of packing and delivering food bags, we will give food vouchers so people have the ability to choose culturally-appropriate groceries in their own communities.

You also have one day left to make a tax deductible donation before the end of the tax year and every gift helps us continue to provide health, housing, employment, food and community support. Thank you to everyone who has already donated. If you are able to contribute, your support is greatly appreciated.

NSW Budget exclusion

Last week the NSW State Government handed down its budget and there was no allocation in funds for people seeking asylum. While social services and support is primarily the Federal Government’s responsibility, people seeking asylum live in our community and they have been neglected by the Federal Government.

It is in recognition of this that other state governments have committed funds in recent budgets, including $8.3 million in Queensland over three years and $3.1 million in Victoria for refugee agencies plus $50 million for temporary visa holders including people seeking asylum.

We do not accept this is good enough and we will continue to advocate and let you know how you can raise your voice. It is not appropriate that charities have become society’s only safety net, not the Federal or State Governments.

BREAKING: In today’s announcement of it’s Covid-19 Support Package the NSW Government has indicated that there will be additional support for asylum seekers and refugees. We look forward to hearing the details and will keep you informed via social media. 

Nadira’s story: ‘There was no place for me’

Watch Nadira’s moving story about arriving in Australia, seeking support and finding many doors closed. Her story of homelessness and being unable to access housing support highlights the gaps in support for people who often arrive with nothing and need time to establish a network, find work and get healthy.

Time to super-charge your training

There are just under three months until the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival on 19 September and now’s the perfect time to register and start your training. The Asylum Seekers Centre team has more than 25 people already fundraising and training for the event. If you’re looking for productive ways to use your stay-at-home time, find out more.

Refugee Week thanks

Thank you to the hundreds of people who participated in our Refugee Week activities that were affected by the emerging Covid-19 situation in NSW. We look forward to being able to share the Scattered People film with you as soon as possible. And also bring you more recorded excerpts from the Band Together event at Sydney Town Hall.

Stay safe and know that what we have learned since the start of the pandemic is that the way we look out for each other is the way we make a difference.

Warm regards

Frances Rush OAM
Chief Executive Officer

6 actions you can take in Refugee Week Run with #teamASC to help people seeking asylum