Due to the current COVID-19 situation, most of Buddies' activities have been severely curtailed in 2020. 

2 August 2020
Bunnings sausage sizzle fundraiser

by Penny Rivlin

Huge thanks to all the folk who helped at the joint Buddies and Noosa Welcomes Refugees Bunnings sausage sizzle. We had to supply 5 volunteers for each shift instead of the usual 3 or 4 and be in 2 tents to be COVID-compliant, which was was ‘interesting’. We managed it with the help and humour of the lovely Bunning’s Siobhan (who is a vegetarian!).
    After expenses we made nearly $800 which was split between us. The Salvos were happy to receive the remaining onions and sausages for their regular BBQs.
    It was also a good way to catch up and meet folk after such a long break with no meeting or events. Thanks again to everyone: Thorsten and Ana, Florence, Tricia, Fay, Pat and John, Marie, Linda, David, Len, Lesley, Dee and Gaynore.
    A great effort setting up, cleaning up, adding up, and directing folk round the barriers and keeping them (and us) 1.5m apart!
March – June 2020
Our avocado fundraiser

by Kendall Snowden and Scott Grimmett

After 13 consecutive Sunday mornings, starting on 22 March, we picked the last of the “reachable” avos on Sunday 14 June. Up an extension ladder perched precariously on rocks with an extension picker needing both hands was certainly not for the faint-hearted, let  alone elderly!!
     Scott Grimmett’s most generous donation of both avocados and custard apples enabled us to work through Covid 19 despite all the restrictions and continue to do some fund-raising for Buddies when other avenues were shut down. Grand total for 2020 is an all-time record... $3685!!



Reports 2019

23 October 2019​
Nambour screening of new documentary Against Our Oath, Nambour

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!”



21 October 2019
Queensland premiere of Against Our Oath, Noosa

Report by Gillian Duffy

The Sunshine Coast Refugee Action Network hosted the Queensland premiere of the documentary “Against Our Oath” by award winning film maker Heather Kirkpatrick. 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.

    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.


Signing petitions
Yas, Lyn and Gabby at the info table
Mayor Tony Wellington, Heather Kirkpatri
Heather with David and Kristin Williamso
23 - 27 September 2019
Learn English Holiday Program
Immanuel Lutheran College, Buderim​

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.


LEH sept 2019
September 2019
2019 Festuri Multicultural Festival 
Cotton Tree, Maroochydore

​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.


June 2019
Refugee Week Community Film Festival, various venues

​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.


2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-15

Some of the SCRAN crew with Muzafar and daughter Natiqa and Jolyon and son Quinn

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-13

Crowd milling around Red Rose Café before The Staging Post at USC

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-12

Surrounded by books in Berkelouw’s in Eumundi to watch Border Politics

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-11

Judy Ditter presented with a scarf designed by a refugee still on Nauru, Yas, Gabby and Mayor Tony Wellington at Noosa Film event

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-9

Panel Discussion Maleny with Lisa McDonald, Grace Samuel, Rosemary Bower and Chad Oliver

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-10

Information table at USC

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-8

Margaret on raffle ticket duty at Caloundra Community Centre

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-7

Red Rose Café cup cakes

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-6

Mandula and Kirra from Amnesty getting into the food before anyone arrives for the Staging Post at USC!

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-5

Full house at The J, Noosa for Mary meets Mohammad

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-4

Watching The Staging Post at USC

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-2

Jolyon, Muzafar and his family with some of the crew at Red Rose Café

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-1

Lisa (W2M), Gillian, Jolyon, Gabby (NWR), Muzafar and Mandula (Amnesty) with “cheques” from SCRAN for Cisarua Learning Centreand RCOA

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-3

Queuing to sign petitions after the final event

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-16

Mandula, Gabby and Lisa presenting Muzafar and daughter Natiqa with a “cheque” from SCRAN for $500 for RCOA

2019 Refugee Week Film Festival Pic-14

Lisa presenting Jolyon with a “cheque” from SCRAN for $500 for Cisarua Learning Centre

7 - 12 April 2019
Learn English Holiday Program
Matthew Flinders Anglican College, Buderim

​​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.


9 April 2019
Noosa Welcomes Refugees Dinner
Raj Indian Restaurant, Noosaville

​​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. 


23 March 2019
Harmony Day 2019
Cotton Tree Park , Maroochydore​​

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.


Lots of interest and poster making
Gillian and Len announcing the poster co
Mandula judging the posters
Diana, Peter, Gillian and Mandula settin
Under 7 runner up
Winner in under 7 years
Under 12 runner up
Winner under 12
12 March 2019
SCRAN meeting with Hon Stirling Hinchliffe MP, Minister for Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs
Sunshine Coast


Let's 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).

6 March 2019
Screening of 'Border Politics'
Majestic Cinema, Nambour​​

The Sunshine Coast Refugee Action Network (SCRAN) recently hosted a sold-out screening of the Border Politics documentary at Majestic Cinemas, Nambour. 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. 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!”



2020 Buddies Refugee Support Group

Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia


 PO BOX 367, Buderim 4556


by email