The Asylum Seekers Centre strongly condemns all forms of anti-semitism, anti-Palestinian racism, and Islamophobia. We join in calling on the… Read More
It’s time to rebuild.
Now is the time for an inclusive and compassionate society with a new Federal Government. Cruel policies have made life hard for people seeking asylum and refugees for too many years.
During the election campaign your advocacy for fair refugee policies was heard by the candidates in your local electorates. Now it is time to ensure the inclusive society we have been promised becomes a reality.
This week I have written to incoming Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and many other members of the new government. I have invited them to visit us at the Asylum Seekers Centre and hear directly from the people whose lives are deeply affected by refugee policies.
I have also reminded them of the issues we have identified as a community, that are urgent and important:
- The reinstatement of an income safety net for 30,000 people who are affected by years of delay while they wait in our community for their claims for protection to be considered.
- A fair and timely process so that people’s applications for protection can be heard and assessed with compassion, due process and in a timeframe that allows people to plan for their futures.
- The abolition of temporary protection visas to allow the 19,000 people currently in limbo to be fully included in Australian life, to reunite with families, to be educated and to know they finally have a safe home.
- Rebuilding Australia’s humanitarian program by increasing the number of people welcomed to settle in Australia from within the community and from overseas. The ALP’s platform is to progressively expand the program to 27,000 places. We encourage the Government to see this as a base amount with extra provision made for particular humanitarian crises such as in Afghanistan and Ukraine.
- A reconsideration of the platform of offshore processing and an end to arbitrary detention. There must be a plan for resettlement of all the 1380 people still affected by offshore detention and currently living in the community in Australia, Nauru and PNG.
This is the time for us to rebuild as a nation and embrace the human rights principles of fairness and dignity for all. We should be proud to uphold the Refugee Convention that Australia signed.
This won’t all happen straight away, but we are moving forward with energy and hope.
I wrote to you earlier this month to tell you about the employment service that we run at the Asylum Seekers Centre, and Sabala, one of the people we have supported to rebuild their lives with the opportunities that a job provides.
Your support for our employment program enables us to expand this service and provide the individualised help that a person seeking asylum needs to thrive in our community.
We are already supporting more than 4,150 people seeking asylum, who had no choice but to flee persecution and danger in their home countries.
We have seen the mental health of the people we support decline in a frightening way in the past few years. What happens in Parliament affects their lives every day and yet they are not able to vote or impact the outcome.
The Asylum Seekers Centre commits to continue working with people to raise their voices and walk beside them as they rebuild their lives.
Your support for our work and this rebuilding is essential at this time. We know that you also want a more inclusive Australia.
Frances Rush OAM
Chief Executive Officer