Reports 2018

2 November 2018
St Mark’s Anglican Church Buderim 

It's working....  Report by Angela Mercuri 

The Sunshine Coast held a prayer vigil as part of the #kidsoffnauru national campaign at St Mark’s Anglican Church, Buderim in November. The Vigil was organised by St Mark’s, together with Love Makes A Way and Buddies Refugee Support Group. There was good local media coverage thanks to the excellent work of Diana Woolley.


27 October 2018
Walk Together 2018
Cotton Tree, Sunshine Coast


Report by Gillian Duffy

To celebrate National Unity Week 2018, Buddies partnered with Welcome to Maleny and Amnesty International Maroochydore, under the umbrella name of the Sunshine Coast Refugee Action Network (SCRAN), to organise “Walk Together” in October.​


24 October 2018
The Merger Film Screening
Majestic Cinema, Nambour


– Part of National Unity Week activities

The Majestic Cinema in Nambour offered Buddies the opportunity to screen the Australian AFL/refugee themed comedy The Merger. It was decided that, due to the film content, it was suitable for a community awareness event and it was screened as part of National Unity Week activities across the country.

    Approximately 80 people attended the screening, which was well received. A bottle of Buddies sparkling wine was raffled, raising $139 and a further $54.50 was left in the donation box. After deducting the cost of the wine, this is $173.50 profit from the event. A Lucky Door Prize was donated and tickets for this had details of the #kidsoffnauru campaign.

    After the film, the audience was urged to sign the petition for this important campaign, to which Buddies is a signatory.

22 September 2018
Festuri 2018
Cotton Tree, Sunshine Coast


– a very successful multicultural event


Festuri’s annual event at Cotton Tree in September was once again very successful. It was Festuri’s 19th year on the Sunshine Coast. Buddies had a stall with a very good response from the attendees. 4 new members, 12 sign up for the weekly Bulletin, 32 signed the RWZ petition to free the children on Nauru and 2 people came to the meeting and will also become members. So a very good outcome.     The festival was an excellent multicultural event which celebrated community culture and diversity, and a wonderful rich variety of musical art forms from around the world. More information can be found on the Facebook page and the Festuri website.

13 September 2018
Learn English Holiday
Sunshine Coast ​


– Great success on several levels

This September’s Learn English Holiday program was hosted by Immanuel Lutheran College, Buderim and involved 27 participants. They were mainly from Syria but also included Yazidis from Iraq and Syria, two people from Afghanistan and one from the Congo. Throughout the week English was the common language, well-practised, and our classroom volunteers helped at every opportunity...


​13 September 2018
Staging Post film screening
Berkelouw Books, Eumundi

Over 40 people attended the screening of the Staging Post recently. Buddies organized the event in partnership with Berkelouw Books, Berkelouw Café and Starry Nights Outdoor Movies. The event was a great success on several levels. Firstly, because Berkelouw Books generously waived the initial venue hire fee and also provided a $50 gift voucher. Berkelouw Café made Buddies a generous offer for the provision of delicious finger food. 


8 September 2018
Swim Safety & English Course
Sunshine Coast Beaches

Buddies recently enjoyed the company of over 20 Syrian and Iraqi women who had come to the Coast to celebrate completion of swimming lessons organised for them by MDA (Multicultural Development Australia) and QPASTT (Queensland Program of Assistance for Survivors of Torture and Trauma). 

Bulletin readers volunteered to help host our visitors, Caloundra Uniting Church women provided a delicious lunch and the day was one of warm interaction, lots of chatting and laughter and, for some, the challenge of swimming in waves. 


19 August 2018
Buddies Finalists in Qld Multicultural Awards 2018
Hilton Hotel, Brisbane

In August Buddies took part in the presentation lunch for the 2018 Queensland Multicultural Awards, and was one of the 28 finalists chosen from 133 individuals and organisations nominated across seven award categories.  

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.


19 July 2018
Vigil for people seeking asylum and refugees
St Mark's Anglican Church, Buderim

– Five years, twelve lives too many

More than 75 people gathered in Buderim on Thursday night for a Vigil of Prayer and Protest in solidarity with 1600 men, women and children imprisoned in Manus Island and Nauru detention centres. The Vigil was part of an Australia-wide movement to advocate for an end to the unjust, inhumane and unfair treatment of asylum seekers. 


20 June 2018 ​
Fundraising dinner
Raj Indian Restaurant, Nooosaville


– Celebrating World Refugee Day


Buddies held a fund raising dinner at the Raj Indian Restaurant in June to celebrate World Refugee Day. The event was well attended and raised $590 for Buddies. Noosa MP Sandy Bolton attended and made the presentations to the guest speakers. Siva Kumar, the restaurant owner offered a 2 course menu plus glass of Buddies wine at a fixed price. The menu included a Sri Lankan fish curry especially for the event. Buddies wine was also for sale at the event and a raffle was held.


Luminous Lanterns 2018
18 June 2018
Screening of 'The Staging Post'
Majestic Cinema, Nambour

– Friendship, connection and the power of community


A team of Buddies organized a sold out screening followed by a wonderfully inspiring conversation via Skype hook up with the film’s director Jolyon Hoff and two of the film’s leads, Muzafar and Khadim who spoke movingly about their determination to help create an inclusive, supportive, learning community in Indonesia. 

Sunshine Coast article, 10 July 2018


April 2018
Learn English Holiday
Matthew Flinders Anglican College, Buderim

The April 2018 class composition seemed to reflect a changed focus in the issuing of humanitarian visas, with 27 of the 29 participants coming from Syria or Iraq, and just two from Eritrea.

A full report can be found in the Annual Report 2017-18, page 4. 

May 2018
ASRC Workshop – Words that work 
St Marys, Buderim


Over 40 members participated in the workshop delivered by Michelle McDonald from Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Brisbane. The research underpinning this approach found that it is essential to use the right words when engaging in conversations around people seeking asylum if we wish our words to positively shift opinions in our listeners. 

The report can be found in the Annual Report 2017-18, page 7. 

8 June 2018
Luminous Lantern Parade
Southbank Parklands, Brisbane

– Shedding light on settlement

As one Buddies member put it:
“It was such a wonderful event and I am so pleased to have taken part in two of the last three years events. We all found it very heart warming, to see so many thousands cheering everyone who took part in the Parade. With such huge crowds, it does show that there is so much good in the community. Do hope that the Qld media provide lots of coverage”.


23 February 2018
Foundations in Community Organising training workshop


– Scott Grimmett

The workshop was attended by Mark Lindgard, Margaret Norris, Gillian Duffy, Lesley Willcoxson, Louise Foulkes, Stephanie Akers, Glyni Cumming, Agnieszka Swiatlowska and

Angela Mercuri. Many thanks to our trainers Dave Copeman and Elise Ganley from Qld Community Alliance.

    Everyone enjoyed the training immensely and gained useful insight into what we are trying to do as members of a community group dedicated to social change.



20 January 2018
Constance on the edge screening
The J, Noosa Junction


– report by Gillian Duffy

Noosa Welcomes Refugees recently hosted a free screening of this documentary, an unflinchingly honest portrayal of one Sudanese family’s journey from refugee camps in Africa to resettlement in Australia. An audience of around 50 enjoyed wine and finger food before the film and a chance to chat with NWR and Buddies members. Filmed over 10 years, the film highlights the role communities play in encouraging a sense of welcoming, healing and belonging. Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington, who attended the screening, said “I’d like to congratulate Noosa Welcomes Refugees and Buddies  for their compassion, and for helping raise awareness about refugees."

19 January 2018
Buddies activities 2017

– Kristi Kief, Secretary

I became involved in Buddies earlier this year. It’s been hugely rewarding, and I’m enjoying the opportunity to learn in my role of Secretary.  So I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about Buddies and the real and tangible ways we have affected peoples lives in a positive manner. 


12 January 2018
Runners for Refugees arrive in Noosa

– Gillian Duffy

Two young endurance runners, Cassie Cohen (22) and Jackson Bursill (24) are running from 4000km from Cooktown to Melbourne to support refugees. They want to highlight the remarkable stories of refugees who have made Australia home. They are also raising funds for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. 


2020 Buddies Refugee Support Group

Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia


 PO BOX 367, Buderim 4556


by email