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A Just Australia 2002-2009 archival site. Please see our new website at www.ajustaustralia.com
Please note that the views on this archival site do not necessarily reflect the views of the Refugee Council of Australia
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Newsletter

Coalition to bring back TPVs

Text short Read this Campaign Update.

AJA?s Human Rights Day Newsletter ? Please sign an Open Letter to Kevin Rudd

Today, on Human Rights Day 2009, AJA urges you to take this opportunity speak out in support of fair and humane refugee policies in Australia.? Help us send a Christmas message to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.? This is an important time to speak up, given the tenor of public and political debate on asylum seekers in recent months.? We want as many people as possible to show their support for fair refugee policies by ?signing? the letter online before we send it to Mr Rudd.


Read this Campaign Update.

AJA's Rules of Association and proposed amendments at 2009 AGM

AJA will hold its 2009 AGM on Monday 14 December in Sydney.?Further information,?including the AGM agenda and relevant forms (e.g. Board nomination forms and proxy forms) are attached here.

We will also be holding a Special General Meeting for the purpose of considering a proposed?Special Resolution.? This seeks to change AJA's?rules of association and will?have a significant impact on AJA's future.?


Read this Campaign Update.

Please take action! Show your support for asylum policies with decency and integrity - October 2009

Read on to find out how you can show your support for fair asylum policies and what you can do to raise public awareness about asylum seeker issues.
Read this Campaign Update.

AJA Campaign Update - September 2009

In This Issue
Detention debts for asylum seekers abolished
Opposition loses battle to retain the '45-day rule'
Bill on Complementary Protection introduced today
Answers needed on ADF actions at SIEV 36 explosion
Policy of excision retained in ALP's 2009 National Platform


Read this Campaign Update.

AJA Refugee News August 2009

In This Issue
Recent reform on work rights under threat - your help urgently needed!
AJA wins at the Australian Press Council: Don't call asylum seekers 'illegals'
Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee releases Report on Immigration Detention Reform Bill
Joint Standing Committee on Migration releases 3rd Report into Immigration Detention
Looking for justice for kidnapped 7-year old Iranian asylum seeker

Read this Campaign Update.

AJA Refugee News ? July 2009

In this issue:
Progress on asylum policy reform
Call for submissions on Migration Amendment (Immigration Detention Reform) Bill
OPCAT and the potential implications for asylum seekers in Australia
An update on Afghanistan and the global refugee context
People to honour and celebrate
Upcoming events


Read this Campaign Update.

June refugee news in Refugee Week 2009

Refugee Week 2009 is celebrated across Australia from 14 - 20 June, ending on World Refugee Day on 20 June.? Over a hundred events are being held in all states and territories - to find out what?s on near you?click here.? Refugee Week is an ideal opportunity to acknowledge the wonderful contributions that refugees have made to our country, but also to reflect on the progress of reforms in our policies towards those who come to our shores seeking protection.? Accordingly, this ?Refugee Week? edition of our newsletter ends with an update of key issues in asylum policy.


Read this Campaign Update.

May news - ombudsman report

One of the most disturbing cases of a detained refugee has been the focus of an Ombudsman report tabled yesterday.

In short, a father was put into the isolation cells in Baxter, and while there his 7 year old daughter was deported back to Iran without his knowledge.

Read this Campaign Update.

April news - boat arrivals

This week feels like being back in the bad old days of 2001-04. A few boat arrivals and the anti-asylum seeker rhetoric is whipped up by sections of the media, the level of policy debate from our politicians is sadly lacking in fact, and many are trying to make political mileage from the recent tragedy.


Read this Campaign Update.

February News

News on the 2009 campaign priorities, detention billing, kids in detention and other notices.


Read this Campaign Update.

January 2009 - the high priority issues for 2009

In 2008, AJA and the Refugee Council developed a list of high priority policy issues to tackle as a matter of urgency. We've seen enourmous progress on all those issues.

For 2009, we have come up with a new set of priorities: detention reform, visa processing improvements, protection of children, community-based asylum seeker programs, repealling excision and closing Christmas Island, halting of detention debts, improvements to commuity consultation and increase checks and balances for removal or failed asylum seekers.


Read this Campaign Update.

January 2009 - policy progress report for 2008

Immediately following the 2007 federal election, A Just Australia and the Refugee Council of Australia convened a strategy meeting in Melbourne to discuss asylum seeker issues with other sector organisations. That meeting produced a clear agreement on the seven high priority issues that the sector wanted the Government to tackle as a matter of urgency in 2008. Following is a report on the progress made on these key issues:
Read this Campaign Update.

Nov 2008 - Asylum seeker news & Christmas Drive

A Christmas appeal for Bridge for Asylum Foundation and for the Asylum Seekers Centre, children are still in detention, and?'A Well-founded Fear' - sign the petition.
Read this Campaign Update.

Early November Asylum Seeker News

The Coalition's new Immigration spokespeople, A Just Australia at the Immigation Detention Inquiry, and more.
Read this Campaign Update.

Annual General Meeting - 24 Nov 2008

AJA will be holding our AGM at 6.30pm Nov 24th in Melbourne. Please click below to see the AGM papers and agenda.
Read this Campaign Update.

October news

As you are no doubt aware, asylum seekers have re-entered the Australian media?s spotlight following the arrival of two boats on 28 September and 6 October - the first boats to have arrived during the Rudd government.


Read this Campaign Update.

August news

Reforms welcomed, but more needed.
Read this Campaign Update.

July News - Welcome changes to detention policy

It?s been a long hard battle, but today (Tuesday 29 July 2008) the Immigration Minister announced new policy changes that will vastly reform immigration detention in Australia.

This is a victory for human rights in Australia.? Congratulations to the Minister, to the Rudd Government, to the members of the Coalition who spoke out, and to all those members of the public who battled for many years in their lounge rooms and on the streets. Let's make sure these reforms are here to stay by making them law, not just policy!


Read this Campaign Update.

July Refugee News - Take Action Now!

In this month's news, AJA and others met with the Immigration Minister to discuss reforms to Ministerial Intervention and the possibility of introducing a formal system of Complementary Protection in Australia.? Plus, get active and get involved on a GetUp petition against mandatory detention and a Uniting Church petition to end the practice of detention billing.


Read this Campaign Update.

June Refugee News

Dear Supporters of A Just Australia,

AJA has been very busy in the past month. We've released another joint report with Oxfam Australia?on?having a formal system of Complementary Protection in Australia.? We've kept up with our direct lobbying efforts?and have?briefed almost?all new MPs on the current refugee and asylum seeker issues.? We've also?met with Immigration Minister Chris Evans, as well as Malcolm Turnbull?and key Departmental people, to discuss AJA's policy proposals.??And after months of sustained lobbying by the advocacy sector,?there has been significant progress on the high priority issues - read out progress report.

AJA will continue with our work and we look forward to more successes.


Read this Campaign Update.

High Priority Issues Campaigning

Immediately after the federal election, AJA and the Refugee Council convened a strategy meeting in Melbourne to discuss refugee issues with other advocates and organizations. That meeting produced two outcomes: a clear agreement on the 7 high priority issues that the sector wanted the Government to tackle as a matter of urgency in the first 6 months and a mandate for AJA and RCOA to take a lead role in the initial lobbying on those issues.

Read on for what's been achieved so far!


Read this Campaign Update.

June 2008 - Budget immigration issues

There were some positive changes to the immigration portfolio in this years budget, but more could have been done (by spending less) on detention.
Read this Campaign Update.

May 2008 - End of TPVs

There have been some very positive changes to refugee issues in recent weeks. Last night the Minister announced an end to Temporary Protection Visas and the continuing funding of the Community Care Pilot. (see latest issues below.)
Read this Campaign Update.

April 2008 - AJA at the 2020 summit

AJA?s National Coordinator, Kate Gauthier, was invited to the 2020 summit as a participant in the Governance stream rather than the social inclusion stream. The Governance stream discussed issues such as the republic, indigenous representation in parliament, indigenous recognition in the constitution and electoral reform. Issues that were relevant to AJA?s work included a bill or charter of rights, and increased community participation in government decision-making.


Read this Campaign Update.

April 2008 - Continuing efforts to reform policy

Recently we''ve seen some very positive changes - the end of the Pacific Solution - and some agreements for more change by ending TPVs and granting workrights for some asylum seekers in the community. But so far these are only tentative agreements and there is so much more that needs to be done to achieve better policy and fairness for refugees.


Read this Campaign Update.

20 Feb 2008 - Nauru closes - but more work to do

Earlier this month it was formally announced that the Nauru and Manus Island (PNG) detention centres were to be finally closed. They will not be mothballed for potential future use. All asylum seekers who were on Nauru, recently had their cases finalised and have been moved to Australia.
Read this Campaign Update.

23 Nov 2007 - Election Eve

Finally, the election is tomorrow, so don't forget to vote with your values!?And to help you do that?our?party policy analysis can help you decide where to cast your vote.


Read this Campaign Update.

25 Oct 2007 - Election Update

AJA election guides and update on refugees on Nauru.


Read this Campaign Update.

8 Oct 2007 - Talking points on Sudanese refugees in Australia

The Immigration Minister, Kevin Andrews, recently claimed Sudanese have a ?failure to integrate into the Australian community.? This statement was released after a young Sudanese man was involved in a fatal assault. However this man was the victim, not the perpetrator.


Read this Campaign Update.

03 Oct 2007 - Sri Lankan refugees on Nauru

While the Government is gearing up for an election, it appears that they are using the same old 'strong border protection' strategy by punishing refugees. As such, Australia has recently refused to take resettlement responsibility for 72 Sri Lankans detained on Nauru who have been proven to be refugees.


Read this Campaign Update.

14 Sept 2007 - Pacific Solution report released

AJA has been very busy in the past few months:

- Completed a report with Oxfam Australia on the Pacific Solution and Offshore processing (see below)

- Distributed this report to all federal MPs and Senators

- Prepared a Policy Summary and Issues brief. This was printed as a 16 page magazine and distributed to all MPs and Senators. This is also being distributed through the AJA supporter networks and key NGOs

- ?Prepared an election survey and ?Values Guarantee?. This is being distributed to all sitting and non-sitting candidates in the upcoming federal election

- Successfully lobbied at the ALP national Conference to abolish TPVs and the 45 day rule which denies many asylum seekers the right to work


Read this Campaign Update.

08 August 2007 - Campaign rollout for 2007

We are very proud to?rollout our campaign to raise awareness on refugee and asylum seeker policies in?the 2007 election with our Clean Up our (migration) Act! campaign.

?

The Clean Up campaign identifies the 10 steps that need to be immediately taken to bring?asylum seeker policy in line with the human rights standards which Australia has developed and endorsed.?Please read our campaign page?to get information about the campaign, download the lobby kit and get involved locally to achieve change nationally.


Read this Campaign Update.

29 June 2007 - general update

AJA is in the process of finalising our ?Clean up Our Act? campaign to raise public awareness on these issues in the lead up to the 2007 election. This campaign highlights the ten most important policy areas which AJA, along with many NGOs, refugee support groups and legal advocates, aspires to change.
Read this Campaign Update.

30 April 2007 - ALP policy change

This weekend the Australian Labor Party held their National Policy Conference. Along with other organisations, A Just Australia lobbied hard on ending Temporary Protection Visas and granting work rights to asylum seekers on Bridging Visas.
Read this Campaign Update.

23 April 2007 - ALP Policy Conference

Please help to lobby the ALP to remove Temporary Protection Visas and to give asylum seekers on Bridging Visas the right to work.
Read this Campaign Update.

5 March 2007 - Nauru update

Sri Lankan asylum seekers have been sent to Nauru, with no proper legal assistance to help on their cases.

Read this Campaign Update.

5 March 2007 Govt brings back Nauru policy

As you are probably aware, there are 83 Sri Lankan asylum seekers currently being held on Christmas Island, awaiting a decision from the Australian Government about their fate. We need your support to lobby for their immediate transfer to the mainland, or at minimum to remain on Christmas Island and processed under Australian law, with resettlement in Australia if they are found to be refugees.
Read this Campaign Update.

16 Feb 2007 Start of 2007 campaign

As you may be aware, we now have a new Immigration Minister, the Hon. Kevin Andrews, for the newly renamed Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). Multiculturalism has been dropped from the name which is usually seen as an indication of the importance of these issues in cabinet.


Read this Campaign Update.

31 Oct 2006 Labor policy change and a chance to dump offshore processing

Things seem to be moving in a bit more of a positive direction with the news last week that the ALP is looking to change key planks of its refugee policy. 


Read this Campaign Update.

18 Sept 2006 Congratulations on helping sink the DUA bill!

We did it! With your help we were able to defeat the federal government's proposal to see all boat-arriving asylum-seekers ferreted offshore to be processed in Nauru!


Read this Campaign Update.

4 Jul 2006 Offshore bill in trouble

The commitment of thousands of people like you has made a significant contribution to our campaign against the proposed changes to our asylum-seeker laws. Despite intense pressure from the Howard Government to pass the proposal for offshore processing of all boat-arriving asylum-seekers in the previous parliamentary session it has now been delayed until August.
Read this Campaign Update.

16 May 2006 Update on offshore processing bill

As you will have heard, the new Bill for offshore processing - Migration Amendment (Designated Unauthorised Arrivals) Bill 2006 - has been introduced both into the House and the Senate. You can find information about the bill here. This includes the text of the bill as well as the (not particularly) explanatory memorandum.
Read this Campaign Update.

27 Apr 2006 - Offshore detention for all boat arrivals

The Australian Government recently announced that it would be making changes to refugee policy to allow for all asylum seekers arriving by boat to be processed in offshore locations and resettlement to be sought in ?third? countries.
Read this Campaign Update.

17 Mar 2006 Migration Act Inquiry and other updates

March newsleter contains an anlaysis of the Migration Act Inquiry, the ANAO report on detention contracts, and some information on the values debate in our community.
Read this Campaign Update.

13 Feb 2006 - Bridging Visa campaign

Our campaign for 2006 is underway, and there have been a lot of refugee-related events.

There is some important information in this newsletter about the issue of work rights for Bridging Visa holders. We encourage all supporters to take the suggested actions, and pass this information on to other people who may support this campaign which was researched and developed by agencies expert in the issue of welfare and asylum seekers.


Read this Campaign Update.

20 Dec 2005 final for 2005

Final newsletter for 2005 - change of chair for A Just Australia board, wrapup of 2005 changes and some good research brochures from Edmund Rice Centre.
Read this Campaign Update.

04 Nov 2005 General update

Updates on Nauru, excisions, Refugee week, People's Inquiry. etc.


Read this Campaign Update.

05 Oct 2005 Continue your support for Nauru

Please keep writing to your friends on Nauru. The waiting is difficult and they need to know that people in Australia have not forgotten them.
 
It does mean a lot to them to receive a fax or to see many messages waiting for them when they go to check their emails. I know it is difficult to keep finding words to write, but even a sentence or two saying that you are still thinking of them and that you care will really help. If you haven't written to someone this week, please consider writing a message now.

Read this Campaign Update.

12 Sept 2005 Help asylum seekers on Lombok

There are about 92 asylum seekers trapped on Lombok, Indonesia. Most of them, including families with children, were towed back from Ashmore Reef by our navy in 2001 after they came here and asked for asylum. They stay in Lombok in spite of the poor conditions in the camp as they fear that their return home will put their lives in danger.
Read this Campaign Update.

06 Sept 2005 General Update

Over the past 12 months there have been significant changes to refugee and asylum seeker policy ? more than we could have expected. Families have been released from detention, with detention for children now legislated as ?a last resort.? TPV holders are being assessed for permanent residency and new bridging visas have been granted to some people who were facing indefinite (or lifetime) detention.
Read this Campaign Update.

26 Aug 2005 Nauru Update

As at Friday 26th August - Tampa Day 4 years on - there are still 32 asylum seekers left on Nauru. Each time another group is accepted and leaves the island, those left behind have to face the reality of their uncertian future. The four years on Nauru have taken their toll on their mental and emotional health. These men have suffered far too much already. Read Jen Harrisons update available as a PDF.
Read this Campaign Update.

21 July 2005 Palmer Report

Once again there has been a lot of movement in immigration and detention related issues in past weeks. The recent Auditor General?s report into the management of detention centre contracts (part B) and the Palmer Inquiry report both outline the difficulties of outsourcing detention management to private companies.
Read this Campaign Update.

23 June 2005 Migration Amendment Bill Info

There has been a lot of movement in the past week on refugee issues. The changes are certainly not enough yet, but they are the best step in the right direction we have seen for some time. Congratulations go to Petro Georgiou, Judy Moylan, Bruce Baird and Russell Broadbent (and their staffers who have no doubt, also worked very hard on this issue.) Their work has not finished as they will be working very closely with the interdepartmental team who will be implementing the changes.
Read this Campaign Update.

30 May 2005 What is a private members bill?

A lot of people are wondering what is the process for Petro Georgiou?s Private Member?s Bill? Will it get to a vote? When will it be debated? Could it result in legislative change?

For supporters of A JUST AUSTRALIA and their networks I have attempted to give a description of this complicated process.


Read this Campaign Update.

27 May 2005 Proposed Bills to reform mandatory detention

Two Private Member?s Bills have been proposed by Petro Georgiou, Liberal MP from Victoria. A Just Australia congratulates Petro Georgiou and other Liberal politicians for taking this important step towards just and humane refugee policy reform.
Read this Campaign Update.

03 May 2005 General update

The media and public response to Petro Georgiou?s Private Members Bills calling for an end to the non-reviewable detention of asylum seekers has been overwhelmingly positive.
Read this Campaign Update.

29 Apr 2005 East Timorese Asylum seekers rejected

After more than a decade of waiting for the Government to grant them permission to stay under humanitarian grounds, this week 21 East Timorese asylum seekers were personally handed a letter from the Minister for Immigration, Senator Amanda Vanstone, saying they were not welcome.


Read this Campaign Update.

15 Apr 2005 AJA new National Coordinator

15 April 2005

As you will be aware, the campaign for A JUST AUSTRALIA is resuming after a review of the outcomes of our work to date. We believe there are still many positive changes to be won towards just refugee policies, as community concern continues to grow, especially for solutions for the long-term detained asylum seekers.

I share your passion and commitment to significant, humane reform to Australia?s asylum and refugee system. I seek your continued generous support- moral, political and financial ? in a refocused, collaborative campaign to achieve our goals. Specifics on how you can immediately help are provided below.


Read this Campaign Update.

15 Apr 2005 Campaign Continues

The campaign for A Just Australia continues

The Board of Australians for Just Refugee Programs Inc. is pleased to announce that, at its 10 February 2005 meeting, it was resolved to work with Oxfam and the Edmund Rice Centre to continue the important efforts of the A Just Australia campaign for reforms to our nation?s refugee and asylum seeker policy and practice. Oxfam and the Edmund Rice Centre will sponsor and support the campaign for a further six months followed by another review of the campaign?s focus and achievement of goals shared by our many individual organisational supporters, patrons and campaign allies.


Read this Campaign Update.

24 Dec 2004 from Ian Anderson and Howard Glenn

A Christmas Newsletter for you from A Just Australia. In this bulletin:

?Over two hundred long term detainees

??Refuge Australia? wins national award

?Reconsidering a role for A Just Australia

?A Just Australia separate to Rights Australia

?Future Contact details


Read this Campaign Update.

30 Sept 2004 Let's vote for a country we can be proud of again!

At the end of next week, Australians go to the polls to vote for candidates in the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is a blessed relief that, at least so far in the campaign, there has not been the fear and demonisation of asylum seekers and refugees.


Read this Campaign Update.

12 June 2004 Letter from Ian Chappell

June 2004

Make this election different to the last in two ways.


Read this Campaign Update.

20 May 2004 New Book: Refuge Australia

Refuge Australia debunks several commonly held assumptions about Australia?s humanitarian record. It demonstrates that Australian responses to various international refugee crises from the 1930s to the early 1970s were informed by self-interest rather than humanitarian concerns. It shows that Australia?s support for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the 1951 Refugees Convention was often at best half-hearted. This book is a timely intervention in the debate about refugees and asylum seekers in post-Tampa Australia.


Read this Campaign Update.
 
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phone: 02 8090 8864
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