Reports 2019


Full report here....more: 

Nambour Screening of new documentary “Against Our Oath” 

23 October 2019

Report by Gillian Duffy

The film screening at the Majestic Cinema Nambour was a great success, with 113 people attending.

Audience member and Buddies stalwart, Margaret Norris commented “The film was excellent. I find that I’m still reflecting on parts of it nearly a week later”.

Suzi Yuki, who saw the film in Noosa said ”I was so touched by that film - I can't stop thinking about it and talking with friends and anyone else who wants to listen!”

Queensland Premiere of new documentary “Against Our Oath” 

21 October 2019

Report by Gillian Duffy

On Monday, the Sunshine Coast Refugee Action Network hosted the Queensland premiere of the documentary “Against Our Oath” by award winning film maker Heather Kirkpatrick at Noosa Cinema.  Filmed over four years, the documentary follows the ethical conflicts that erupt for doctors after the Australian government overrides their clinical decisions made for refugee patients.

Signing petitions.JPG


Ms Kirkpatrick said she was first drawn to the subject of medical ethics after reading a story in mid 2015, about the nationwide doctors’ protests against the Border Force Act.

“This act threatened doctors with two years jail for them if they spoke out about detention conditions they had seen,” she said. “I could immediately see the ethical conflict doctors would find themselves in as a result of this act being passed”.

Full report here....more: 

Learn English Holiday Program
Immanuel Lutheran College , Buderim

23 - 27 September 2019

Report by Lesley Willcoxson

The September 2019 Learn English Holiday (LEH) program involved the largest number of participants we have yet hosted – 52 people from 10 different countries (Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Burundi, Syria, Tibet, Myanmar, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Their length of time in Australia ranged from one month to 30 months, and their English language levels ranged from absolute beginner to advanced.

The program was held from 23-27 September at Immanuel Lutheran College who generously provided us with several classrooms, use of their facilities, and photocopied our learning materials.  The Immanuel Worship Centre also provided us with wonderful facilities – the large open area where we held several activities, including the Multicultural Dinner, and every morning ate a delicious morning tea prepared and served by volunteers from the Church.  One of our other partner schools donated their bus for our use in transporting our guests to and from the Sunshine Coast and from the beach to Wildlife HQ.

Full report here....more: 

2019 Festuri Multicultural Festival Festival a Success

Held at Cotton Tree, Maroochydore, September 2019

Report by Gillian Duffy


The Festuri Multicultural Festival was once again a lively event with dancers from Brazil to the Cook Islands, stall holders from Sudan and human rights activists from Camaroon to name just a few of the cultures represented. The Sunshine Coast Refugee Action Network had a stall with volunteers from Amnesty and Buddies.


There was an activity for young (and the young at heart) to make posters with messages of support for the Tamil family from Biloela, still in detention on Christmas Island. This gave volunteers time to chat to parents about refugee issues while their children worked on their poster. It is surprising how little awareness of refugee issues there is in the general community and how sympathetic most people are.

There were 25 signatures on the Community Support Program petition, 24 on the "I Choose Humane" petition, 11 on the Refugee Welcome Zone, 2 new Amnesty members and several Bulletin sign ups. In addition, donations were collected to sponsor a young Iranian refugee to Canada and $100 ($90 Canadian) has been sent on behalf of SCRAN. 


Thanks to all the volunteers who helped on the day

2019 Refugee Week Community Film Festival a Success

Held in Various Venues Throughout June 2019

Report by Gillian Duffy


One of the main objectives of Refugee Week and the SCRAN Film Festival was to raise awareness in the community of refugee issues and the existence of refugee advocacy organisations on the Sunshine Coast.


With over 400 people attending the eight screenings, over 260 petition signatures, 26 Bulletin sign ups and 16 new members, not to mention at least 7 newspaper articles so far, the Film Festival has been a huge success in terms of raising awareness.


It has also raised over $1,200 for the Cisarua Learning Centre, the Refugee Council of Australia and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.


This PDF file provides a summary of the events.

Thanks From Romero Centre To Buddies For Their Contributions
Romero Centre, Brisbane

14 May2019

Report by Lesley Willcoxson

This PDF file is an encouraging email feedback form the Romero Centre, on the contributions which Buddies has made to the centre.

Learn English Holiday Program
Matthew Flinders Anglican College, Buderim

7 - 12 April 2019

Report by Margaret Norris

This was the 7th course we have run totally ourselves and we believe that it was again a most successful week. The report highlights the numbers and range of different groups in our Sunshine Coast community who have been involved.

We had 26 participants from 5 different cultural/national backgrounds and they were hosted by 13 families on the coast. All participants, except one student from St James College, were referred by MDA and matching people with homes was done by Kayla Szumer. There were two children in the group this time.

Matthew Flinders Anglican College hosted the classes and we are particularly thankful for their generosity in opening up their school. The Rev Lizzie Gaitskell was vital in smoothing our use of the school’s facilities, as well as recruiting a great crew of students to assist in classes.

Full report here....more: 

Noosa Welcomes Refugees Dinner
Raj Indian Restaurant, Noosaville

9 April 2019

Media Release 10 April 2019

Report by Gillian Duffy

Noosa Welcomes Refugees hosted a dinner at the Raj Indian Restaurant in Noosaville on Tuesday evening with guest speaker Jason Scanes. Almost 40 people packed the restaurant to hear Jason, a former army captain, who since retiring from the defence force, has established the first Australian charity for veterans and interpreters assisting Australia in combat. 

Jason has guest lectured at UNSW on the human rights of combat interpreters and spoke passionately on the theme of courage, mateship and compassion - core Australian military values. He shared the story of his own interpreter in Afghanistan who, having risked his life to assist Australian forces, is now being denied asylum in Australia. Jason felt compelled to assist him because “you don’t leave your mates behind”, thus becoming an accidental human rights activist, lobbying the Minister for Immigration to grant him a visa.

Now the ALP candidate for Wide Bay, Jason spoke about his desire to bring those values that have shaped his military service and his advocacy for veterans and interpreters to inform his contribution to public service. Dr Harriot Beazley from the University of the Sunshine Coast facilitated and Q&A session with questions from the audience on a range of refugee and related issues.


Gabby Sutherland of Noosa Welcomes Refugees said afterwards "There were so many important issues discussed during the evening. It's refreshing to discuss global displacement with calmness, respect and intelligence. It doesn't matter if we agree with each other or not. What matters is that we are prepared to find humane, compassionate solutions together”.


Noosa Welcomes Refugees, as a member of the Sunshine Coast Refugee Action Network, will use funds raised from the evening for advocacy and support for refugees and people seeking asylum.


Noosa Welcomes Refugees can be contacted on

NWR is a member of Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR) and a member of Sunshine Coast Refugee Action Network (SCRAN)

Harmony Day 2019
Cotton Tree Park , Maroochydore

23 March 2019

SCRAN Stall at Harmony Day Cotton Tree Park 23 March 2019

Report by Gillian Duffy

To celebrate Harmony Day, the Sunshine Coast Council organised Voices of Harmony at Cotton Tree Park, Maroochydore. It was a truly multicultural event with singing, dancing, drumming, stalls and a fashion show, all representing countries from around the globe.


Our Pacific Island neighbours were strongly represented with Fijian and Hawaiian dancing, Tongan singers and stalls selling handicrafts from Papua New Guinea.

SCRAN had a stall, which looked bright and inviting, with the SCRAN banner and W2M prayer flags. The stall had plenty of customers, including children who were encouraged to take part in a poster making competition to explain what Harmony Day means in words and pictures. There were 29 entries overall – not all from children – and these added to the stall decorations as the day went on.

Thanks to Mandula (AI), Andrea (Buddies) and Linda (Nambour Community Centre) for judging the posters. The winners were:

  • Sadie age 5 in the under 7 category won the book "Room on our Rock"  (Ada age 5 and Oakley age 4 were runners up)

  • Tayah age 10 in the under 12 category won the book "The extraordinary life of Malala Yousafzai" (runner up Gypsey age 8) 


We decided not to award any other prizes as there were no entries in the 12 - 17 categories and the adults, frankly, didn't try hard enough! The remaining prizes will be kept for future events or raffles. Thanks to W2M, Gillian and Buddies for donating the prizes, which have posted to the winners.

Some of the outcomes of the event were:

  • 50 signatures on the Refugee Welcome Zone petition

  • 29 signatures on the Community Sponsorship Program petition

  • 12 sign-ups for Buddies Bulletin

  • 1 new Buddies membership


There were a number of other positive interactions:

  • we had a chat with the Police Commissioner

  • several people who would like to be host families (not necessarily in April) and will follow-up via Buddies contact details 

  • some people from Maryborough took several CSP petitions to get signatures

  • several people expressed interest in joining NWR or W2M and attending other events


Angela, who took on the busy middle shift, commented afterwards “I have nothing but positive thoughts about the day. I was struck by a lovely, festive, joyous and also thoughtful vibe when talking with people, both at our stall and also around the place. All the people I spoke with during my shift were interested to know more about refugees and people seeking asylum and supportive of the petitions”.

Dee and Paul were also in choirs singing at the event and a few Buddies dropped by the stall to offer moral support. All in all a productive, if exhausting day. Thanks to everyone who was able to contribute, but particularly Diana, Angela, Dee, Peter, Janine, Len, Paul, Jason, Mandula, Nina, Andrea, James.

SCRAN meeting with Hon Stirling Hinchliffe, MP, Minister for Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs
Sunshine Coast

12 March 2019

Lets make the Sunshine Coast LGA a Refugee Welcome Zone (RWZ)

Several SCRAN members had a very productive and energizing meeting with Minister Hinchliffe, while he was visiting the Sunshine Coast as part of the QLD Government’s Governing from the Regions initiative, to inform him of SCRAN’s campaign to have the Sunshine Coast Local Government Area declared a Refugee Welcome Zone (RWZ).

The Minister was particularly interested in and supportive of SCRAN’s community-based campaign as it dovetails with the State Government’s efforts to make Queensland ‘a place of welcome’, noting that this commitment was being driven by the Premier and her whole government.

We discussed a range of ways to take the campaign forward effectively and he encouraged SCRAN to engage widely with key community stakeholders in a positive conversation about ways to give practical effect at our local community level to values of inclusion, belonging, welcoming.


We agreed to continue the conversation as our campaign evolves over coming months.

Screening of 'Border Politics'
Majestic Cinema, Nambour

6 March 2019

Report of Screening of Border Politics Documentary - 6 March 2019

The Sunshine Coast Refugee Action Network (SCRAN) hosted a sold-out screening of the Border Politics documentary at Majestic Cinemas, Nambour on Wednesday 6 March. For more information on SCRAN please refer to Buddies Bulletin Edition of 18 February 2019 or visit



Organisers were heartened by the strong community response to the documentary, with over 150 tickets sold through Fan-Force , an online platform to help people get the films they want into cinemas and the ability to help connect disparate groups of people into communities and, importantly, to help sell tickets! The need to continue to reach a new audience with whom to engage on refugee and people seeking asylum issues remains critical in the lead up to the federal election and while so many people’s lives are still in limbo on Manus Island and Nauru.



The documentary follows human rights and refugee advocate and barrister, Julian Burnside, AO, QC, as he traverses the globe examining the harsh treatment meted out to refugees by most Western democracies.


Burnside defines humanity with the universally recognised Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you, as a benchmark. He questions whether the West has lost its moral compass by adopting ideas that reject humanity and undermine democracy.


One of the audience members, Emeritus Professor Henry Nix, AO, commented afterwards “It is the best documentary film I have ever seen – and I’ve seen a lot!” Other audience members suggested it ought to be shown more widely including in schools, which SCRAN hopes to do over coming months.


The documentary captured some heart-warming stories of communities abroad that welcomed displaced families into their communities. It would be fantastic to see this realised in our own communities in Australia through an expanded and improved community sponsorship program for refugees.


The documentary was followed by a lively Q&A session with a panel. Audience members were very interested to know about activities on the Coast and how they could support refugees and people seeking asylum, including those on Nauru and Manus Island. They were encouraged to sign petitions, lobby their MPs and donate food items and cash to the Network member organisations.

More information is available from and

2018 Buddies Refugee Support Group

Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia


 PO BOX 367, Buderim 4556


 0412 673 028 or by email