Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Legal Right to Seek Safety and Protection

Reverend Paul Arnott wrote the following letter to the Age, published in hard copy and The Age online:

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has instructed departmental and detention centre staff to publicly refer to asylum seekers as ”illegal” arrivals and ”detainees”, rather than clients (The Sunday Age, 20/10).

Could he please direct us to the Australian or international law that describes a person seeking refuge in another country because of fear of death, serious injury or persecution as an ”illegal”? My understanding is that no such law exists. I am tired of hearing our leaders demonise human beings made in the image of God for their partisan political ends. Mr Morrison, show us evidence that these people are doing something illegal.

Reverend Paul Arnott, Ringwood East

Read the letter in The Age:

By | 2018-01-04T16:14:36+10:00 October 21st, 2013|Latest News|

Many Questions Remain Unanswered on Coalition Government’s Approach to Boat Arrivals

It has been a tumultuous and tragic few weeks for Australia and the asylum seekers looking for protection in this vast island continent.

No sooner was a new commander appointed and ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’ launched by the new Immigration and Border Protection Minister, Scott Morrison, than controversy erupted over newly announced plans to place tight restrictions on information about boat arrivals and asylum seekers.

Read Misha Coleman’s full article from Sight Magazine.

By | 2013-10-21T10:24:17+10:00 October 21st, 2013|Media|

2014 Interpreter Scholarship Program

The Department of Premier and Cabinet through the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship (OMAC) is offering scholarships of up to $2,000 to students enrolled in the 2014 RMIT Diploma of Interpreting.

In Melbourne, the following six languages are being targeted in the 2014 program:

– Bengali

– Dinka

– Nepali

– Punjabi

– Rohingya

– Somali

A regional program will also be offered in 2014. This will be held in Bendigo and is being offered in the Karen language only.

OMAC will be hosting information sessions for people interested in the program. The session dates and locations are:


Dandenong – Monday 7 October 2013, 5:45-7pm

Dandenong Council Chambers

39 Clow Street, Dandenong


Bendigo – Thursday 10 October 2013, 5:45-7pm

Theatrette P2.37, Level 2 Building P

Bendigo TAFE – City campus (enter Gate 9)

McCrae Street, Bendigo


Melbourne – Monday 14 October 2013, 5:45-7pm

Melbourne Multicultural Hub

506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne


Werribee – Tuesday 15 October 2013, 5:45-7pm

Werribee Council Chambers

45 Princes Highway, Werribee


Scholarship applications close on 21 November 2013.

Please see the flyers and forms below for more information on the information sessions and the application process. You may wish to distribute these to your networks.

2014 Metropolitan Interpreter Scholarship Flyer

2014 Metropolitan Interpreter Scholarship Application Form

2014 Regional Interpreter Scholarship Flyer

2014 Regional Interpreter Scholarship Application Form


By | 2013-10-21T09:32:58+10:00 October 21st, 2013|Uncategorized|

Newly Elected Chair and Vice Chair Voice Concerns

The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce today announced the election of their new Chair and Vice Chair. Senior church members from across Australia met to decide on the aspects of the current asylum seeker and refugee policy settings that are most concerning to Australian Christians. Newly elected Taskforce Chair, The Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt said the ongoing and emerging reports relating to the treatment of pregnant woman and children were causing Church members the greatest concern. Download the full Media Release.

By | 2013-10-16T18:11:08+10:00 October 16th, 2013|Latest News, Press Releases|

Human Rights in Sri Lanka: JPW Press Statement

Justice and Peace Workers Asia Pacific Forum 9th Networking meeting of Asia-Pacific JPWs expresses concern about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka 35 Justice and Peace workers (JPWs) from 16 countries across Asia and the Pacific, including 4 from regional organizations, gathered in Kandy, Sri Lanka from 3-9 September 2013 for the 9th networking meeting of the Asia Pacific Forum of Justice and Peace Workers.

Download the full press statement.

By | 2013-10-16T17:01:57+10:00 October 16th, 2013|Press Releases|