As part of an Australia-wide push, the Commonwealth Government has given notices of eviction to 30 asylum seeker families currently in community detention in Adelaide. All were held for some years in Nauru or PNG but were removed to Australia because of serious illness. Some will be evicted on 4th November, and the rest on 11th. Their Community Detention visas will be changed to Final Departure Bridging Visas. These visas would make them ineligible for any Commonwealth Government assistance. They would now be allowed to work, but not to study. Some have limited English, and many are unable to work due to poor health. They vary from babies to elderly people up to 82 years. More eviction notices are expected to be issued later.
Although the charities supporting refugees and asylum seekers are very short of funds due to the pandemic, they are working together trying to prevent these people from becoming homeless and going without food. The Blackwood Hills Circle of Friends approached the BUC Council for some funding, as each family will require at least $5000 in immediate assistance. This will cover cost of the first 6 weeks rent and a Bond, allowing the families time to get on their feet.
The Church Council met last week and agreed that this is a humanitarian crisis at our doorstep. It resolved to donate an immediate $5,000 to the Blackwood Hills Circle and to also ask the church community to consider additional personal donations if they are able.
Blackwood Hills Circle of Friends is immensely grateful for this wonderful generosity. It will carefully manage the disbursement of the funds, so that they are well used for the intended purpose.
The first to benefit from BUC’s donations will be a family of four: husband and wife, fine people, with two lovely children aged 6 and 4. The route they took, starting about 8 years ago, was from their home, a South Asian country, via other places to Nauru, thence an Australian detention centre and finally, 4 years in “community detention”. In Nauru, they were assessed to be genuine refugees, indicating that returning them to their home country would be an act of inhumanity. The wife suffers from an auto-immune disease, untreatable in Nauru, and is still unwell.
If you wish to make a donation, one option is to put cash or cheque in an envelope marked “refugees”, put your name inside and, at a church service, put the envelope in one of the church collection bags. Make cheques out to “Circle of Friends Australia Inc”. Alternatively, deposit by electronic funds transfer, or in person at a Bendigo Bank branch, into the following account: Bank: Bendigo Bank; Account name: Circle of Friends Australia Inc.; BSB: 633 000; Account #: 150721298. In the Reference box, please enter “C7 BUC” and the donor’s name. This will identify the source and purpose of the donation, and will enable a tax receipt to be sent to the donor. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.