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Art Exhibition Opening  and BR4R Open Meeting 
14th October 5.30pm

BR4R is hosting an exhibition of the artworks of refugee women at Ignite Studios, Ballina, from October 13 – 18. The exhibition captures some of the settlement experiences of participants in the Homestay program and Anglicare North Coast’s 3Es to Freedom Program.
Exhibited works will include photographs, textiles, films and written texts.
This promises to be a very interesting collection of work. See you there!

Location: Ignite Studios is the old fire station next door to The Gallery Café.
Opening hours: Weekdays 10am to 4pm / Weekends 9.30am -2pm

The exhibition will have its own online opening by Dr Mandy Hughes of Southern Cross University and Emma Aspden from Anglicare.
This will double as a BR4R Open Meeting, so hope to see you virtually as well as at the exhibition.
BYO champagne and canapes!
BR4R Zoom Opening of Re-making Place Art Exhibit
Time: Wednesday Oct 14, 2020 05:30 PM 
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Just click on the hyperlink:
Or join by phone by dialling +61 2 8015 2088
 If you are prompted for a meeting ID: 915 6039 7074
Hi all,

Another strange month in politics. We are told because of restrictions on international travel, that Australia needs 23,000 workers,  yet we have thousands on limited visas, or worse, incarcerated for exercising their legal right to seek asylum, unable to take up work. We do know that some refugees have been moved from detention centres to Community Detention.  Under Community Detention singles and families are not allowed to work, they are given a house, minimal household goods and a small stipend.  This stipend is very limited. We have recently heard of many refugees  now being moved from Community Detention onto bridging visas (BVEs), which sounds hopeful, but essentially throws refugees on to the mercy of charities for their basic survival needs, such as accommodation, food and funds. This has created an even greater demand on the funds of refugee support agencies. 
I would like to thank each and everyone of you who have supported us financially over the last few months when our fundraising efforts have been curtailed. Some have donated their weekly coffee money, others given a regular sum of money, some a one off donation, Mark Issacs donated some of the proceeds of his book sales and  one of our members has even taken to stitching masks to sell. Because of your collective generosity, we have been able to respond quickly to requests to financially support at least some of those refugees in Brisbane and Sydney thrown on to BVEs in the last few weeks. We also continue to support those working with refugees on Manus, helping with applications to the US as well as with basic daily needs..
Our application to be a mentor group under the CRSI initiative was successful. On the 24th October we start our work in earnest with colleagues from the Uki and Pottsville groups. We in BR4R have a great 13 person team with a range of talents. We had to quickly mobilize when a refugee (and family) known to us ended up on one of those bridging visas. Within a couple of days we had sourced accommodation, funds and work. In the end, the person and his family decided to stay in Sydney but now we know  what our team can do. One small step closer to our aim of supporting refugee resettlement in Ballina. Thanks to all who put effort into this work.
The Ballina markets have resumed and we have our first Bunnings BBQ coming up to replenish our coffers and remind everyone we are still active. The stalls and BBQ are a great way of chatting to people who never have come across us. Thanks to Meg, Trish and all our volunteers who tirelessly make these events happen.
Our art exhibition is fast approaching. I would encourage all to visit, spread the word. Although numbers in all galleries are limited, our great team of volunteers (thank you all!) will be in the Ignite studios, Crane Street, Ballina from Tuesday 13th to Sunday 18th ready to welcome you.
Back to politics and the hunt for those to blame. Blame is a wasted emotion, it does not solve anything, it just makes people bitter and angry.  For the month of October, let's all try to actively support compassion rather than apportion blame. We might start a movement.
Warm regards, Ruth

New initiative for resettlement of refugees
BR4R involved in a Group Mentorship Program 


The Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (CRSI) has been advocating for the introduction of a community refugee sponsorship program in Australia, which would enable ordinary Australians to sponsor refugees from overseas. This vision is inspired by the successful community sponsorship program operating in Canada since the late 1970s. Similar schemes are now being implemented in many countries around the world.
The Group Mentorship Program is a six-month pilot, with its aim being to show how such a program could work on a larger scale. The Federal Government is currently reviewing its refugee sponsorship policies and it’s hoped that a suitable federal community refugee sponsorship program could be available next year.
Recently BR4R formed a 13 member mentor group, which has been successful in applying to be one of the six regional groups to be trained by CSRI. The group will support the refugee/refugee family in any way required, such as finding them suitable accommodation, transport and a little financial support.
CSRI is working with Regional Opportunities Australia, to find an asylum seeker/refugee (single person or family) to be resettled in our region and to be mentored by our group.
To add to the excitement, a member of our mentor group has offered a hospitality apprenticeship at her Lennox Head restaurant to a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV)holder as part of the CRSI-BR4R mentor group initiative.
Apart from the Homestay program, BR4R members are usually busy raising money to support other individuals and organisations who are working at the coalface, so it’s going to be a gratifying experience for our mentor group members to be able to help to resettle a refugee here

Fact checking Acting Immigration
Minister Alan Tudge

Minister Tudge has made a  number of statements recently which really need challenging. Over the next few editions of this newsletter, we are going to put the counter side to some of these "facts" using government sourced information. Please share widely. 

Link to Fact Checker

Update on legal issues

A federal court judge recently ruled that Minister Tudge engaged in ‘criminal’ conduct by unlawfully detaining an asylum seeker for five days, exposing the minister to potential civil and criminal charges including contempt of court. The Afghani asylum seeker continued to be detained in March when after an Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) awarded him a protection visa because Tudge felt the tribunal had got the law wrong and appealed against the decision. The judge agreed the tribunal’s decision was wrong but allowed the man to retain the visa and found the minister was not entitled to keep him in detention and had failed to comply with an order requiring him to provide an explanation.
The High Court is currently hearing four test cases in an appeal  to determine which court should hear claims about inadequate health care of refugees and asylum seekers in offshore detention. The Commonwealth argues such claims should be heard by the High Court, while lawyers representing the refugees the cases argue they should be heard by the Federal Court. One of the refugees’ lawyers said forcing offshore detainees to appeal to the High Court for urgent medical care would significantly increase the duration and cost of the process, with ‘potentially disastrous’ health consequences. More than 50 cases are currently on hold pending the outcome of the appeal, which will also impact any future claims by former offshore detainees that the Commonwealth failed to provide them adequate health care.
(Source: Kaldor International Law Centre)
The Federal Court has found a Syrian man who was held in immigration detention after his visa was revoked rather than being sent home was falsely imprisoned and is entitled to damages, in a ruling with implications for other detainees.
The man, who joined his mother in Australia on a child visa in May 2005, had his visa cancelled by the Immigration Minister on character grounds in October 2014 and was placed in immigration detention. (Source :Sydney Morning Herald)

Sharing successful resettlement stories
to Year 8 Students

Introducing Joy Ridley (nee Amery) who is an EALD (English as an Additional Language/Dialect) teacher. Joy is working on a project in NSW public schools that is tailored to the curriculum concerning the experience of refugees. 
The NSW Curriculum gives students in Year 8 a unit of work on “The Migrant Experience: Hopes and Hardship, Coming to Australia” in order to help students to develop empathy and perspective regarding the lives of refugees and migrants arriving in Australia. Joy is talking to students about her experiences teaching refugees and has suggested putting together the stories of some of her former students or work colleagues who have been refugees and are now in a good place within the Australian community, or for that matter, resettled happily in their home country.
Some students became quite distressed hearing of initial refugee experiences so Joy felt it would be good to have a set of “where are they now” stories to help the students debrief at the end of the unit.
Joy is seeking refugees willing to help by writing a story or making a video clip about their experiences:
  1. leaving their home country to come to Australia and
  2. some notes about what they are doing now – the good things
These stories will be put together in a resource to support students in understanding seeking asylum and the resettlement experience.
If you would like to help, please email Joy on or and she will talk to you about this. Or call Joy on 0402 659 305.
If you know of others with refugee stories who would like to participate they would also be welcome!
Contributions can be made anonymous if you so choose.

Ballina Markets, Bunnings BBQ and Rallies are on!
Call out to Volunteers

Roadside Rallies
The roadside rallies are held on Kerr Street outside Ballina Fair across the road from Hungry Jacks from 4:30pm. The next rallies will be held on Wednesday, October 14, 28, November 11, 25 and December 9.
People are invited to be part of the rallies

Ballina Markets
Our stall at the last Ballina Markets was again successful! Thank you everyone! We made $547.55 selling popcorn, books, clothing, children's toys and games, bric-a-brac, plants as well as honey, jam and chutney and face masks. 
Next market stall will be held on Sunday 18th October 2020.

Come along and check out our stall. There's plenty of bargains! The friendly BR4R volunteers are always happy to have a chat. This market may not be as grand as others but there's always a friendly and fun atmosphere. For our enjoyment a local musician plays away right next door!

We are looking for volunteers at the stall with a couple of hours shifts. You can also help sorting clothes, books, etc at our container in Ballina. 
We also welcome donations of novels in good condition. Donations can be left undercover at the front 2 Sunway Place Ballina. Drop them off any time.

From left to right, the amazing Meg, Sue and Rosemarie. 

Bunnings Barbecue
The Ballina Bunnings BBQ is also back on  Saturday Oct 31st 2020.
After all this time, we are so happy to return to the Saturday Sizzle!
We are looking for help to flick the sausages and give your best smiles
Please contact Trish, our fundraising coordinator if you are keen to volunteer:
0477 897 864
Lock the date for BR4R AGM
The annual AGM will take place at the Grandview Apartments, East Ballina on Saturday 5th December 2020.
Memberships can be renewed from 1:30pm. The AGM will commence at 2pm.
More information to come on venue capacity and how to book your seat.
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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