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BR4R has partnered with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and many other organisations to promote the #TimeForAHome campaign. The campaign will launch on December 3rd 2020, and conclude on Refugee Day June 2021. 

The campaign focuses on the premise that it is time to end detention and give people a place to call home. People seeking asylum and refugees need a safe, permanent home now so they can rebuild their lives and own their futures. For this to happen, the campaign demands that the Australian Government must immediately release people lawfully seeking asylum and refugees from immigration detention and commit to a pathway for their resettlement.  People lawfully seeking asylum and refugees have lived too long without a home, deprived of their freedom and their futures.

How can you get involved?

During the campaign, BR4R asks members  and supporters to write letters to moderate Liberal politicians Dave Sharma, Jason Falinski, Katie Allen, Angie Bell and Trent Zimmerman, to independent politicians Andrew Wilkie, Zali Steggall, and Helen Haines, and to Centre Alliance politician Rebekha Sharkie.  You can find supporting information for your letters on the campaign website:

BR4R will also hold a roadside rally on December 9 outside Ballina Fair Shopping Centre from 4:30pm where the focus will be on this campaign. All welcome. 

A media release will be sent to local media outlets and letters from individual BR4R supporters will also be sent to local newspapers. A notice will be prepared and sent to local churches to be published in Parish bulletins. 

We all saw the success of the Children off Nauru campaign. We are hoping for the same success here. BR4R members and supporters are warmly encouraged to play a part in the Time for a Home Campaign through letter writing, joining the rally and talking with friends and acquaintances about the campaign.

2020 has been quite a year for us all. Many have faced significant hardship and stress in their personal situations, some for the first time in their lives. If this has been your experience, we truly hope that 2021 is a better year for you.

Our thoughts also go out to the many refugees and those people lawfully seeking asylum who will start another new year with uncertainty, anxiety and despair. As the year draws to a close,  a new campaign is being launched on Thursday 3rd December. The campaign is called Time for a Home. This campaign is being supported by BR4R and a coalition of 60 organisations, legal, medical, human rights and refugee support organisations. The campaign calls for permanent resettlement of those detained in Australia or offshore before World Refugee Day in June 2021. Each newsletter between now and June we will give you an update on campaign activities and how you can be involved. 

The end of each year is often a time of reflection. We will reflect on our achievements this year at our AGM on 5th December. All are warmly welcome.
The reports for the AGM can be found:

Together, these reports give a clear insight into the commitment, enthusiasm and success of our BR4R collective team in thinking globally but acting locally. I would like especially to acknowledge the BR4R Committee and our Activity Coordinators who kept active over 2020, meaning that we could allocate over $20,000 directly to organisations supporting refugees, yes $20,000!! Given the impact of the global pandemic on all, this is by any standard an amazing achievement. If you donated goods for the market stall or served sausages, if you stood at the side of the road with a placard,  if you paid your membership fees or made a donation, if you came to a BR4R event or volunteered your time, you have contributed to this great result. Thank you all.

BR4R will move into 2021 with the exciting prospect of refugee settlement in Ballina and the continued energy that our collective efforts will make a difference to the lives of those who just want a home. It's time.

Wishing you all a safe and peaceful festive season,


Bring Priya and her beautiful family back home to Biloela, Queensland

Angela Fredricks from Biloela reminds us that November 29 marks 1000 days since Nades, Priya, and their daughters Kopika and Tharnicaa were snatched from their home in Biloela in a dawn raid by Mr Dutton's Australian Border Force.

How can keeping the dedicated parents and their little girls locked up when they have a home, and a community that wants them back be justified?

BR4R members can show the family they haven't been forgotten, and that we will keep advocating on their behalf until they are released from detention and returned to their home in Biloela.

Angela is asking people to write a Christmas card to Priya, Nades, Kopika and Tharnicaa with a message of support. You can address your card to:

Nades and Priya
c/o Phosphate Hill Immigration Facility
Christmas Island WA 6798

If you send your card by express post it will arrive in time for Christmas.

Dedicated refugee activist to speak at AGM

Dawn Barrington, dedicated refugee activist and singer-songwriter from Fremantle, WA, will be speaking to us via Zoom at the AGM next Saturday, 5th December.

Dawn travelled to Manus Island twice, befriending many refugees and finding a close connection with several through music.  Some have since been brought to Australia through the Medevac Scheme and last year she visited many of them in Immigration Detention Centres and hotel detention in Brisbane and Melbourne. Dawn is in regular contact with them, reporting on their deteriorating condition dire need for freedom.

Dawn Barrington with one of the Manus Island refugee, Farhad Bandesh.
Dawn with one of the Manus Island refugees, Farhad Bandesh

This will be a rare opportunity to hear the stories of individual refugees, and to become inspired by Dawn’s enthusiasm, compassion and hard work.

The AGM is in the function room of the Grandview Apartments, Grandview St, East Ballina, with membership renewals from 1.30pm. The meeting opens at 2pm.

The power of storytelling

BR4R recently used the mediums of art,  photography and poetry to tell the stories of refugees. Much more powerful than facts or political rants.

We were really pleased to read that the Kaldor Centre has launched Temporary, a rich storytelling hub revealing the experiences of refugees in Australia who are under temporary protection.

This Kaldor Centre project explores – in long-form stories, podcasts, art and photography – the lives of people who came to Australia seeking refuge, and the laws that entangle them in an endless uncertainty.

Their journeys come to life in powerful stories, vividly illustrated by refugee artists and photographers.

Their voices rise from an eight-episode podcast series, co-produced with UNSW Centre for Ideas and Guardian Australia, with a soundtrack created by an award-winning composer currently seeking asylum. 

Temporary also offers a real understanding of the system designed to deter these people, with experts from the Kaldor Centre and the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) breaking down the laws and policies in simple terms.

We urge you to discover these stories of survival in words, art, and audio.

Start with today's excerpt in Guardian Australia, with the first full stories, or with the podcasts

Our market stall has kept us afloat!

Hooray for our market girls, Trish, Meg and Rosemarie, as well as all those who have helped in any way with setting up, selling, packing up, cooking or donating items to our stall. 

With Covid-19 having shut down all fundraising activities for three months, our projected fundraising income for the year was looking bleak.  But when the Ballina Market resumed in July, Trish, Meg and Rosemarie went back to work with enthusiasm and it seems even more energy than before. In the last five months they have raised very close to $3000!  Not only that, but almost half of the takings from last month’s market came from Meg’s on-line pre-market sales – what an entrepreneur!

The Saturday Paper donates to our poetry competition winner

BR4R thanks The Saturday Paper for donating an on-line subscription to the winner of our recent Poetry Competition, Victoria King – an addition to BR4R’s monetary prize. If you haven’t yet discovered what an interesting and very pro-refugee paper it is, have a look next Saturday.

Hope you’ve all read and enjoyed Victoria’s winning poem on the BR4R website. The very worthy 2nd and 3 rd placed poems are there too.

Meet Jane Lewis our new coordinator volunteer

Some of you may remember that last month we put out a call for a new volunteer coordinator. Thankfully Jane answered! Jane has already taken up the role and can be contacted on If you have ideas about volunteering,  or friends who might be interested in volunteering for us, Jane is now your go to person.  
Here is a little bit about Jane by Jane: 
"I am currently based in Yass but intend to re-settle in northern NSW to be nearer to our sons.
I lived In PNG for approximately 27 years.  My husband & I have also lived in South Australia, Canberra, Beijing & Cairns.  We sold our house in Cairns in 2018 and since then we've been travelling with our caravan, enjoying exploring and visiting new places along the east coast.  I have always enjoyed living and working with people from many different cultures, including asylum seekers and refugees.  I hope that some of my experiences will be of benefit to Ballina Region for Refugees (editor's note - Jane has worked on Nauru and on Christmas Island).
Welcome Jane!

Meet Rachel Welstead, new addition to BR4R

Rachel Welstead joined BR4R as student from Southern Cross University studying a Master of Social Work. Her main purpose is to support the Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative in developing a resource kit to support settlement of refugees into the Ballina Shire.

She is also involved in providing updates to the Time for a Home campaign.

Welcome Rachel!



BR4R Committee 2020 to 2021

With the AGM approaching we have a few Committee members standing down and a few new faces joining us. Meg Pickup, our active and enthusiastic Secretary, tried to stand down last year. Thankfully Sandra Mondange joined the Committee half-way through the year to learn the roles from Meg so that this time Meg can really stand down. Meg will continue her role as Events Coordinator. Thank you Meg and welcome Sandra. Sandra will also take on some of the work undertaken by Cheryl Malloy, our talented, creative and dedicated  Admin Coordinator.  Cheryl will take on the role of Public Officer with Sue Williams stepping down. Thanks so much to Sue and to Cheryl for all of your contributions to BR4R.  Jane Lewis is our new Volunteer Coordinator and she will also nominate for the BR4R Committee. 

Myself as President, Stanley our VP, Rik our Treasurer and Lisa our Publicity Officer will all continue on the BR4R Committee in 2021. Even with new members Sandra and Jane and committed continuing Committee members, this still leaves one vacant Committee position. If you are interested, please get in touch
We'd love to hear from you!

Ballina Markets

The next Ballina market will be on Sunday, December 20 2020. This is usually a very busy market as people look for bargains for Christmas. 
We need a few more volunteers for 2 hour shifts 8 till 1pm. We have booked a nice shady spot with lots of room to spread out. We could do with help at the container sorting books for the market with Meg.
Please contact Trish on 0477 897 864

BR4R shirts are available to buy at the markets or the AGM - $40.
Our models Trish and Tre display here the lovely attire.

Roadside Rallies

The next roadside rally will be held on Wednesday, December 2 pm on Kerr Street at Ballina Fair from 4:30pm.

A roadside rally will be held on Wednesday, December 9 at 4:30pm. This rally will foçus on the Given Them a Home campaign.

There will also be a rally on Wednesday, December 16 2020 at 4:30pm.

All are welcome to attend, but especially for the December 9 rally.
The December 16 rally will be the last one for the year. This event will go into recess until the new year.
The date the rallies will commence will be notified in the early new year.

Christmas Shopping with ASRC

ASRC has a beautiful range of merchandising, gifting items and greeting cards.
So give a gift that really matters and makes lasting change possible for people seeking asylum.
IMPORTANT NOTE - to guarantee delivery of your gift before Christmas, orders must be placed before 12 December.
Make a donation today
Link to BR4R on Facebook

Latest News

For the latest news on matters related to people seeking asylum and refugees please follow these links
Refugee Council of Australia
Kaldor Centre for Refugee Law UNSW
Amnesty International Australia
Ballina Region for Refugees
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Ballina Region for Refugees · PO Box 7083 · East Ballina, NSW 2478 · Australia

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