June 2022 newsletter: First Immigration Minister to visit ASC in a decade

June 27, 2022

We have been reflecting on the idea of ‘healing’ this week, as it’s the theme of Refugee Week 2022. What we know at ASC is that healing takes time.

We are here for people from the very first meeting where we listen while a person shares as much as they are able of their story, or as little.

Along the path to healing we provide: mental and physical health support; assistance with housing; food; transport; digital connectivity; an invite to a hot nutritious lunch. We know that people’s paths to healing are not linear and everyone has a unique story. Feeling human connection and having someone listen to your story can help with that healing.

With our newly elected Federal Government we have the opportunity to hit the reset button on how Australia responds to people seeking asylum and refugees. This afternoon, Andrew Giles became the first Minister for Immigration to visit the Asylum Seekers Centre in more than a decade.

A man, Minister Andrew Giles, speaks, sitting at a table with a group of people who are clients of the Asylum Seekers Centre.
Immigration Minister Andrew Giles speaking at the Asylum Seekers Centre.

Minister Giles said he wanted to come to ASC during Refugee Week and in his first month as Minister so he could recognise and thank ASC for our work. He listened directly to people seeking asylum and heard from our staff so that he could better understand the issues. Minister Giles and the new Federal Government committed to working with agencies like ours to create better long term outcomes for the future. We welcome the opportunity to work closely with the Federal Government to see real change.

NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Mark Coure, also visited the ASC this week in support of the work of the centre and to announce NSW Government support to assist people seeking asylum without income in the community.

A group of 20 people stand and pose for the camera - Mark Coure MP with the staff of the Asylum Seekers Centre.
Mark Coure MP with the staff of the Asylum Seekers Centre.

There was an incredible outpouring of compassion and joy from so many Australians on the return home to Biloela of the Nadesalingam family. Some people were surprised at the diversity of people who supported the reunion of this family with their community.

But not us, and probably not you, our supporters. Because we know that all over Australia people seeking asylum are part of our neighbourhoods, our schools, workplaces and friendship circles. People are welcomed and wanted.

Warm regards

Frances Rush OAM
Chief Executive Officer

Text that reads 'Donate now'.

Celebrating new beginnings

A photo of a man with the quote "Nothing makes my day like hearing one of the people we support say 'I got the job'."
Asylum Seekers Centre employment coordinator Jeff Milgate

The vast majority of people seeking asylum aren’t eligible for any kind of Centrelink payment, so a job is a lifesaver: a pathway to a secure future and new friendships. Last week, two people that ASC employment coordinator Jeff supports started new jobs – and a third had a successful job interview. Hear him share the good news.

Test your knowledge & win

An image of Asylum Seekers Centre merchandise - a tote bag, gift cards, masks, tea towel, reusable cup and a t-shirt.
ASC prize pack

How much do you know about the experience of refugees in Australia? Take our Refugee Week quiz and fill your knowledge gaps about how many people are granted visas, how long they wait, if they can go to university, work or receive welfare and health benefits. Learn why people seeking asylum still need your help to advocate for better support to settle and make a contribution in Australia.

Run with #teamASC

Four people wearing running bibs stand in front of the Sydney Opera House. Text reads 'Run with Asylum Seekers Centre: Fundraise to help people seeking asylum thrive.'
Join #teamASC by running at the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival.

Join the ASC staff, volunteers and community at the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival on 18th September. Whether you want to smash a new fitness challenge or take a pleasant walk over the bridge in the sunshine – join #teamASC as we fundraise and celebrate our wonderful community. Bring your friends and family along to run (or walk) to welcome!

Shop with Impact

A reusable cup that reads 'Keep your winter welcomes warm'
The ASC has released a new reusable cup with the message ‘Keep your welcomes warm’

Shop with Impact has a new winter product! Your purchase will keep your coffee warm and help us to continue to provide a warm welcome to people seeking asylum.

3 new jobs for people seeking asylum: A day at the ASC Asylum-seeking families connect and play at the ASC