With courage let us all combine
The St Vincent de Paul Society is celebrating Refugee Week 2015 by reflecting on how refugees, asylum seekers and migrants have contributed greatly to the fabric of the Australian community and will continue to do so for many years to come.
Vinnies encourages its staff, members and volunteers to throw their support behind Refugee Week 2015 being celebrated from Sunday, 14 June until Saturday 20 June, which includes World Refugee Day on Thursday, June 20.
Bearing witness to the courage of asylum seekers
Vinnies has a long history of helping migrants and refugees. We do this both by providing services to asylum seekers and refugees in Australia, and by advocating to government on their behalf.
Our services include providing financial and information support to migrants and refugees, for example through home visitation, food and financial help, visits to detention centres, and homework centres. There are also dedicated Vinnies migrant and refugee centres and committees in some states, which coordinate these activities and also offer information services.
Catholic Alliance of People Seeking Asylum
Vinnies has joined the Catholic Alliance of People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) which was established in 2014 by Catholic organisations wishing to advocate for changes to Australia’s immigration policy that would better upload the dignity and rights of each person seeking asylum. Catholic Social Teaching Principals form the basis of the Alliance’s advocacy work, which envisages an Australia that welcomes and respects people seeking asylum.
The Society continues to oppose mandatory detention and offshore processing of asylum seekers and calls for the timely processing of applications and immediate removal of children, women and men from detention centres.
Our advocacy is led by the National Office, our National Social Justice Committee and the Vincentian Refugee Network. Advocacy includes spreading the true stories of migrants and refugees, writing submissions to various bodies, and organising events. We also issued a media release titled ‘The Rohningya people need our support’ on May 29, 2015.
What you CAN do
Refugees Week 2015
The Refugee Council of Australia has chosen “With courage let us all combine” as the theme for Refugee Week in Australia for 2015 to 2017. Taken from the second verse of the national anthem, the theme celebrates the courage of refugees and of people who speak out against persecution and injustice.
It serves as a call for unity and for positive action, encouraging Australians to improve our nation’s welcome for refugees and to acknowledge the skills and energy refugees bring to their new home.
It takes courage to be a refugee: As people who have faced persecution because of who they are (their race, nationality or membership of a persecuted group) or what they believe (their religion or political opinion), refugees need courage.
Where can I go to find out more?