BUDDIES – a brief history
EARLY 2002: DARK DAYS
Buddies began early in 2002 when the situation for asylum seekers arriving on Australian shores was particularly bad. Many people felt they could not sit by and let innocent people, who were trying to escape persecution and possible death in their own countries, be treated like criminals by our government.
Men women and children were being shut away behind barbed wire fences for interminable lengths of time, often in off-shore processing centres where they had even fewer rights.
Small groups of like-minded people could no longer sit by and let this happen. All around Australia people began to join together to organise themselves into action. Buddies began in one such person’s home in Buderim and grew from there.
24 NOVEMBER 2007: A RAY OF LIGHT
When the Rudd Government came to power the situation for ‘boat people’ looked about to improve. Promises were made to keep children out of detention and to have a 90 day limit for processing new arrivals by boat. Temporary Protection Visas were abolished, as was the Pacific Solution.
There was an air of optimism. The minority who supported ‘boat people’ were allowed a voice. Would groups like Buddies become superfluous?
Alas, there was a new wave of unrest throughout the world; the fear factor was about to take hold in insular countries such as ours. Would everything Australians hold dear be threatened by an influx of asylum seekers crossing our borders?
MAY 2011: A STEP BACKWARDS
Wth such a fine balance existing in government, the asylum seeker situation was once again used as a political football and asylum seekers came out of it more badly than ever.
With the Labor government’s failure to deliver its policies our country took a huge step backwards. The need to support refugees and asylum seekers became stronger than ever before.
SEPTEMBER 2013: WORST OF ALL
Since the election of the LNP government the plight of asylum seekers has gone from bad to much worse. The vindictiveness, cruelty and illegality of current policies has meant continued suffering for thousands of helpless people and has caused Australia to lose a lot of respect internationally.