Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative launches today

Today the Refugee Council of Australia has joined other organisations including Save the Children Australia, Amnesty International Australia, the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, Welcome to Australia and Rural Australians for Refugees to stand for an affordable and additional refugee community sponsorship program. The Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative’s vision is to permit and encourage the sponsorship of refugee resettlement in Australian communities. This initiative aims to build on the government’s current Community Support Program (CSP) by enhancing the capacity of the community to provide generous humanitarian protection to those fleeing persecution. We are calling on the Australian government to increase their humanitarian migration quota through the community sponsorship program. This involves introducing a scheme which will create 5000 places per annum, growing to 10,000 in five years. This initiative is similar to community sponsorship programs already in place in Canada and the UK. The Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative enables individuals, families, community networks and businesses to sign up to help sponsor…

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A Letter from Sitarah: English Tests Don’t Make Better Citizens

My name is Sitarah and I’m a former refugee. I know first hand about the importance of citizenship. My family and I had to flee our country, with no place to call home. Right now, members of our Parliament are again attacking our citizenship laws to exclude people like me from our society. This time the proposal is coming from Pauline Hanson. But we have an opportunity. For the first time ever, the public can vote for or against the changes by completing a simple ‘yes/no’ online survey. Can you take 30 seconds to say 'No' to Hanson's attack on citizenship laws? The new laws aim to make citizenship harder to access, and unfairly disadvantage refugees who are desperate to build a future as part of the Australian community. We want to send a message that Australians do not support laws designed to exclude those who value citizenship the most. Under the proposed changes, a person would need to be…

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#ChangeThePolicy of cruelty, save the SRSS

There is a support program for people seeking asylum in Australia called the Status Resolution Support Service or SRSS. It provides a basic living allowance, casework, and access to torture and trauma counselling. While the support is minimal it is still lifesaving for many people. The Government is now in the process of taking away this vital support and unveiling a new, reduced support model of SRSS. From June 4th, thousands of people will be exited from the program and are expected to find a job. The only assistance they will get is access to a computer at a local employment agency. Can you join or campaign calling on Malcolm Turnbull to save these life-saving supports for people seeking asylum and ensure a #RoofOverMyHead ?

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A Letter from Kamran

Kamran is a person seeking asylum who is concerned he will be affected by the recent changes to support services for people seeking asylum in Australia. He is calling on us to write to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to talk about the looming humanitarian crisis. Friend,   I am worried.   I am a person seeking asylum and I am currently awaiting my refugee status from our government. To support me to do things like pay my rent, study and get help finding work, I have been receiving support through the Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS).   Right now Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is overseeing one of the largest cuts to support for people seeking asylum that this country has ever seen. The SRSS provides people like me, with basic support to help us build our lives in the Australia.   In the coming months, we could see up to 15,000 people seeking asylum in our communities lose all their…

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Roof Over My Head

The Australian government has been forcing people seeking asylum into destitution. Future changes are likely to make thousands of highly vulnerable people in our communities homeless and desperate. Community groups and organisations around the country cannot cope. This is a humanitarian crisis in the making. Read what people seeking asylum, and people who support them, have told us about what is happening here.
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FAQ: Supporting and working with RCOA

How can I make a donation to RCOA? Please see our donations page. Does RCOA accept donations of goods (furniture, food, appliances, etc)? RCOA unfortunately cannot accept donations of goods, as we do not provide services to or work directly with refugees and asylum seekers. However, a number of our member organisations do accept donations of goods. Please see our donations page for further details. How can I become a member of RCOA? Please see our page on membership. What are the benefits of RCOA membership? Please see our page on membership. Does RCOA deliver services? No. RCOA’s main activities are research, advocacy, policy analysis and public education. We do not deliver services of any kind or work directly with refugee clients. For information about organisations providing services for asylum seekers and refugees, please see our service directories. Can I volunteer or undertake an internship with RCOA? Volunteer and internship positions are periodically available at RCOA in the areas of…

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