Supporting Refugees

Homestay Program

Through our Homestay Program we aim to build a bridge between people seeking asylum and refugees and the Australian community through our common humanity.

Everyone looks forward to a break from their day-to-day existence.  For most of us this comes in the form of a holiday – a trip to a new area, a visit to friends and family, a chance to experience something new.

However, people seeking asylum and refugees often do not have the funds, knowledge or contacts to organise such an event.

We live in such a beautiful area and it is a privilege to share it with others.

Homestay Hosts offer to accommodate people seeking asylum and refugees who wish to come to this region for periods ranging from a couple of days to a week.  The visitors may be a single person or a large family – the host and their facilities are matched to the needs of the visitors.

BR4R covers travel costs for the visitors as well as providing a small allowance for the host’s expenses.

We also have a group of volunteers to assist the hosts if needed, offering excursions, picnics etc. or transportation.

This is an excellent way to show people seeking asylum and refugees that they are valued by Australians and to show them part of our country and our culture.  It is also an opportunity for the host to experience people from another culture.

If you’d like to find out more about or Homestay program you can download the Homestay Program Information Guide or contact the Homestay Co-ordinator via our contact page. 

You may wish to become a host or a volunteer – the rewards are huge.

Nauru Island

Nauru Friendship Group

T

he Nauru Friendship Group members provide support to men and women who are illegally detained on Nauru.  We build friendships by maintaining regular contact  – by phone, Whatsapp, Facebook, email – and respond to requests for items such as clothing, food and phone credit.

Two of the issues facing men and women and their families who have been detained on Nauru for up to 5 years, are the lack of medical treatment and access to culturally familiar food.  The indefinite detention has had a severe impact on the mental health of men, women and children and they are desperate to resettle in a safe country and begin to build their lives.

We welcome new members to our group.  Please contact the Nauru Friendship Group via the contact page if you are interested in joining us or would like to discuss what being a group member involves.

Nauru Detention Centre

Refugee Family Reunification Project

 

T he Department of Home Affairs continues to separate families who seek to resettle in Australia. Many of these families have been detained in offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island for over 5 years.

The Refugee Family Reunification Project is an initiative of Ballina Region for Refugees. BR4R has engaged a Project Worker to work with refugee advocacy and support groups, social justice groups and churches across the Far North Coast to raise awareness about the federal government’s deliberate separation of refugee families.

The second part of the project is to assist groups on the Far North Coast to plan actions advocating that refugee families are safely resettled together in New Zealand, Australia and the USA. Groups will choose their own strategies from a resource kit provided by BR4R. All of the groups will be working together leading up to the next federal election early in 2019, supported by BR4R.

An Advocacy Resource Kit has been developed and is available for any groups who wish to undertake this important work. You can view it and download the .pdf file to the right.

BR4R received a funding grant from the Mercy Foundation for this work and to engage the Project Worker, Aya Pigdon.

You can download the Kit or if you want any further information please enquire via our contact page.

Aya Pigdon, Project Worker

Advocacy Resource Kit

for the
Refugee Family Reunification Project

Financial Support

Ballina Region for Refugees supports many needs in relation to refugees and people seeking asylum.

Many are in response to urgent calls for help and some are more regular in nature.

On a regular basis we assist with communication and postage to women who are held on Nauru through our Nauru Friendship Group and frequently send them parcels of food, clothing and other basic and essential items.  Some funds go towards medical treatment.

Those incarcerated on Manus Island also receive similar assistance.

We also provide funds to support refugees and people seeking asylum through our Homestay Program, covering the costs of transport and some expenses.

O ver the past 18 months we have also answered calls for assistance from various associations and provided over $20,000 in funds and materials financed by the fund-raising by BR4R and its Volunteers and Supporters.

These projects and associations include:

  • Urgent legal fund for Manus men
    The flawed refugee determination system in PNG means many Manus men have been denied a fair legal hearing of refugee applications. Urgent help is needed to stop their forced deportation back to danger. Anne Moon, who spoke to BR4R in December, coordinates this action. Organised via Chuffed.
  • Gifts for Manus and Nauru
    ‘Gifts for Manus and Nauru’ is a registered charity supporting our asylum seeker and refugee friends at Manus and Nauru through sending parcels of much needed items, access to medication, and through the provision of mobile phone credit. Gifts for Manus
  • Manus Emergency Fund
    Supports Manus men in emergencies by raising funds for legal representation and grass roots relief. Manus Emergency Fund
  • Legal Aid for a man seeking asylum
  • Manus Lives Matter
    Sister Jane Keogh in Canberra coordinates a project that links parishes and individuals with some of the most disadvantaged and isolated of the 900 men on Manus. This donation was for spectacles for three men.  Manus Lives Matter
  • BR4R’s Nauru Friendship Group
    Linking women in the Northern Rivers with isolated women on Nauru. Postage paid for packages sent by volunteers of clothing, underwear, food, nuts, herbs and spices, protein powder etc 
  • BR4R’s Homestay Program
    Transport costs and accommodation for .Flights, bus fares & accommodation for Homestay guests from Sydney and Brisbane.
  • Individual visa support for a previous Homestay guest
  • Qld Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT)
    Provides flexible and culturally sensitive services to promote the health and well being of people who have been tortured or who have suffered refugee related trauma prior to migrating to Australia.
  • Funding to Manus via the Brigidine Sisters
  • Assistance to E-raced – a group aiming to break down the barriers facing all migrants including refugees
  • Supporting the Refugee Council
  • Biloela Billboard – Funds to keep the billboard up to get the Biloela family home – Biloela Billboard
  • Justice ProjectManus Relief Fund
  • Support for Rural Australians for Refugees
  • RefugeeConnect  – who help refugees and people seeking asylum who are in Brisbane to settle in and integrate with the wider community