Good News Stories

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Last Updated: Friday 24 August 2018

On Sunday 19 August Buddies took part in the presentation lunch for the 2018 Queensland Multicultural Awards, held this year at the Hilton, Brisbane on 19 August - recognised the valuable contributions of Queenslanders who support and promote a united, harmonious and inclusive Queensland community. Meet this year's inspiring award winners across eight categories. 

The 2018 theme was, 'Building a prosperous, fair and harmonious Queensland'. Queensland Multicultural Month website


Buddies was one of the 28 finalists chosen from 133 individuals and organisations nominated across seven award

Although Buddies did not win the Community award, being chosen as one of the four finalists in that category was

in itself a significant achievement especially given that Buddies is entirely a volunteer organisation.  

The citation in the award booklet highlights why all of us involved in Buddies should be proud of what we do:
    "Since 2002, Buddies Refugee Support Group on the Sunshine Coast has supported cultural diversity and community cohesion by linking newly-arrived refugees and asylum seekers with the local Australian community to facilitate cultural understanding, social cohesion and integration.  
    Buddies achieves this through hospitality and support services and through community education about the refugee experience in Australia".

Here are some images from the presentation night.

Buddies – Finalist in Queensland Multicultural Awards 2018
Critically ill refugee child flown from Nauru to Australia with family

In reading this, remember that a fit, healthy adult can survive 60 days without food (on average) - a 12 year old child much less. The Guardian, 21 August

A 12-year-old refugee on Nauru who has refused all food and medical treatment for more than 20 days is being moved to Australia with his whole family.

M (Guardian Australia has chosen not to publish his name) was medivacced from Nauru by air ambulance with his mother, stepfather and sister early Tuesday afternoon.

The Australian Border Force initially refused to move M with his family, insisting they be separated, with his stepfather to stay on the island.

Read the full article here.

Previously reported on this website:
Buddies – Finalist in Queensland Multicultural Awards 2018

In recognition of the work done over many years Buddies has been selected as one of four finalists in the Community section of the 2018 Queensland Multicultural Awards (for which, overall, 133 organisations and individuals were nominated). The winner will be announced in mid-August. Thank you to all members and previous members of Buddies who have donated so much of their time and energy in recent years

Pressured to boycott deportations

Airlines around the world boycott are refusing to assist in deportations. The Guardian, 9 August

Qantas and Virgin are facing increasing pressure from unions, advocacy groups and the public to refuse to participate in the forced removal of asylum seekers from Australia, as airlines around the world boycott deportations. To date both of Australia’s major carriers have refused to rule out taking part in future deportations.
     The issue of corporate co-operation in forced removals came to renewed international attention last month when Swedish student Elin Ersson refused to sit down on a plane at Gothenburg airport, protesting that an Afghan man was being deported “to hell”. She succeeded, and the man was removed from the plane.
     Advocacy group the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility is currently meeting with both airlines, arguing they should
refuse to take part in forced deportations to those countries where people might face danger.... 

Read the full article here.

Australians protest five years of offshore detention policy

This is "Good News" more because Australian refugee action is being recognised and reported by major international media


Thousands protested in cities across Australia on Saturday to mark five years of a policy under which asylum-seekers and migrants have been turned away and detained on remote Pacific islands. Messages were read aloud from those still languishing in deteriorating conditions. The protesters carried signs denouncing the policy and calling for those still on the islands to be resettled in Australia. “Sending asylum-seekers offshore doesn’t free Australia of its obligations to these people,” said Elaine Pearson of Human Rights Watch.

Read the full article here.

Manus Detainee's Story Of His Resettlement To USA

"This article was published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Jul 14, 2018 as

"‘I am Imran’". Read the full article here."


This is only one mans story, and for him, it is a great news story - like finding new life. But let us not

forget the many others still incarcerated.

Below are some random extracts from "The Saturday Paper" article.

After more than four years on Manus Island, when Imran Mohammad was offered settlement in the

US, he felt as if he held the full moon in his hands. He is now living in Chicago, and feels he is home.

"After seven years’ imprisonment in refugee detention, I am no longer known by my boat ID EMP-065. I am Imran.".......

"I thought I’d lost all hope when the Australian government forcibly moved me to Manus Island on October 29, 2013. For so long, my life was controlled. It was not mine. I was not allowed to live the way I wanted. I saw what I didn’t want to see, I ate what I didn’t want to eat. I wore clothes that I didn’t want to wear. I heard what I didn’t want to hear. I slept when I didn’t want to sleep. I was treated in a way I didn’t want to be treated and I lived where I didn’t want to live."

"I am bound to Australia by suffering. Australia, a country that had every resource to save me but, sadly, didn’t even let me step onto its soil. It doesn’t matter how hard I try to escape from those terrible days and nights on Manus, I relive the horrors of five years every night in my dreams. Sometimes I feel like I am not free, that this is all in my imagination. I don’t know how long it will take me to get over those nightmares. But I am thankful I now have control over my life. I can go to a park to breathe fresh air. I can lie down in the grass and hide myself from this chaotic world."

"The world would have known nothing of us without the tireless work of lawyers, journalists and advocates in Australia. I would have been lost in a sea of evil without the generosity, kindness, pure love and care we received from our Australian supporters."


Nauru refugees leave for US amid attacks on women

"Radio NZ, 9 July Not fantastic news, but for these 36 people, it is.


Thirty-six refugees exiled to Nauru by Australia flew to the US yesterday to be resettled. They are Afghan, Pakistani, Rohingyan and Sri Lankan. The group did not include refugees from Iran or Somalia or any of the Muslim majority countries banned from the US, which account for about half of all refugees on Manus and Nauru. Advocate Ian Rintoul said the absence from the group of refugees from the banned countries showed the Australian government had no plan to secure the future of those people.


Australia to take seriously ill refugee from Nauru as case reaches court

"At least seven sick children have been moved from offshore detention after court orders or just before hearings


The Australian government has agreed to move a seriously ill refugee girl from Nauru to Australia within days. She is at least the seventh child to be moved from offshore islands after legal action on their behalf.

The young girl, who has been held on Nauru with her parents for several years and whose name and age cannot be reported, is suffering from acute mental health issues.


UN body condemns Australia for illegal detention of asylum seekers and refugees

"Those unlawfully held remain in indefinite detention, where they have been held for up to nine years without charge"


This is NOT NEW(s), but a key United Nations body has condemned as arbitrary and illegal Australia’s indefinite incarceration of refugees and asylum seekers, issuing critical statements on five separate cases in a year. But those unlawfully held remain in indefinite detention, where they have been held for up to nine years without charge.


Biloela family granted injunction

"This famly's plight was previously reported on our 'Bad News' page, so it is good to hear that the situation has changed (for now)


The Federal Court has granted an injunction against the deportation of a Tamil family. Priya and Nadesalingam and their two Australian-born children had been served with a deportation notice after losing a court bid to stay in the country.

The notice would have required the family to leave the country as early as Tuesday, despite having 21 days to appeal the Federal Circuit Court decision.  

However an injunction has now been granted to allow the family to remain in Australia long enough for the Court to hear an appeal against last week’s decision. 


A legal representative for the family, Kajaliny Ranjith, said the legal team were hoping for the case to be expedited through the Federal Court. “The family has been in detention for quite some time now, so we do want to get them out as soon as possible, and just to get them some closure as well,” she said

ASRC 2018 Telethon Record

Thanks to the whole community of supporters for a record result!

Words can't describe it - the overwhelming vote for compassion and welcome for refugees and people seeking asylum by 8744 people  on Wednesday 20 June, World Refugee Day at the third annual Asylum Seekers Resource Centre (ASRC) Telethon.

With incredible community support, ASRC surpassed their goal of $800,000, to raise an incredible $816,490 in just 16 hours. 

Every dollar raised will offer life saving support to nearly 5000 refugees and people seeking asylum through 40 humanitarian aid programs.

To create lasting change, government needs to treat people with dignity and compassion. That is why all donations also fund fearless advocacy - all the way from the halls of Parliament to the local community

$4 million set aside in the 2018 Queensland Budget

It's not much, but it's a start


While the Federal Government has recently created terrible living conditions for the most vulnerable members of the community, a few community leaders have lobbied in recent months to parliamentarians and organisations like the MDA about these (TPV) people’s plight. The Palaszczuk Government has allocated a “new program to support vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers”.  

Please send a thank you letter to
Minister Stirling Hinchliffe MP

Mojgan granted another 6 month bridging visa

More than 159,000 people have signed a petition calling for Mojganto be allowed refugee status.


IRANIAN asylum seeker Mojgan Shamsalipoor's visa has been extended to December and she is allowed to work, but still not allowed to study.
She is now working at Yeronga State High School as a teacher aide supporting students with complex needs.


After nearly two years behind razor wire, she was released last year, and now lives in Brisbane, married to Iranian Milad Jafari, whom she met in Australia.

Mr Jafari recently passed his citizenship test, and is allowed to stay in Australia.

She attended the Luminous Lantern parade last Friday, marching alongside her community.

We will not stop campaigning for Mojgan to be granted permanent residency...


The $225,000 campaign to dislodge Peter Dutton from Dickson

Why is this good news?  well...  it can't be bad.


GetUp is making a grassroots, issues-based bid to oust the home affairs minister from the Queensland seat of Dickson, formally launching its campaign to dislodge Dutton after amassing a $225,000 warchest from its members.


Dutton’s position in Dickson is not secure – he suffered a 5.12% swing against him at the last election, leaving a slim 1.6% margin.


GetUp predict that it would only take another 1,500 voters to change their mind for him to lose the seat...

Ending the nation’s shame – Andrew Wilkie tables Refugee Protection Bill

Good to see at least one politician nailing their colours to the mast.


The Independent Member for Denison has introduced a Private Member’s Bill that would provide for a more humane approach to asylum seekers and refugees.  “This bill would enable the establishment of a network of centres, located in and run by Asia Pacific countries including Australia, where asylum seekers can go to be registered and have their immediate humanitarian needs met.” he said...


Thousands of doctors want a refugee dying of cancer to be brought to Australia

This is what defines us as humans.


More than 2,000 Australian doctors have signed a letter to Peter Dutton calling for a refugee with terminal lung cancer to be brought to Australia for palliative care. The 63-year-old, a member of Afghanistan’s persecuted Hazara minority, has been formally recognised as a refugee. He has worked as a builder during his five years held on Nauru, where he earned $4 an hour, said Dr Nick Martin, a Nauru doctor in 2016-17...


'24 June - 'Ali' to be transferred to Brisbane.

Thanks to the outcry from the thousands of medical practitioners, citizens and advocacy groups, the Department of Home Affairs has finally granted Ali entry to Australia.

The department quietly relented on Saturday and Ali was flown to Brisbane where it is expected he will begin treatment, although it is believed he has only weeks, perhaps months, to live.

2018 Buddies Refugee Support Group

Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia


 PO BOX 367, Buderim 4556


 0412 673 028 or by email