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Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce


Australia yet to grant a single humanitarian visa for fleeing Afghans, Senate hears

Australia has been inundated by an estimated 150,000 Afghans applying for 3,000 humanitarian visas since the Taliban rose to power in Afghanistan in August.

A parliamentary inquiry has heard that the Federal Government is yet to issue any of the initial 3,000 humanitarian visas for Afghans fleeing the Taliban.

Listen to full story at SBS News, 15 November 2021

Summary of Afghanistan Response to date

Since the fall of Kabul, almost 2000 Afghan locally engaged employees and family have been brought to Australia, in addition to about 2000 Afghans granted protection visas since 2013.

More than 1600 other Afghans have also been evacuated since 18 August, adding to more than 10,000 Afghans that Australia has granted permanent protection to since 2013.

More than 130,000 people in Afghanistan have applied for humanitarian protection in Australia.  

(SMH, 17 November 2021)

Refugee Council of Australia is asking for help with re-settlement in Canada 


For the past two years, Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) has been working with Vancouver-based migrant and refugee settlement service MOSAIC and the volunteer network Ads Up Canada to offer a way out of the never-ending limbo experienced by refugees first sent to detention in PNG and Nauru in 2013. 

Australians have donated $3.26 million through RCOA, while MOSAIC and Ads Up Canada have worked together to lodge sponsorship applications and to organise volunteer settlement teams ready to support refugees after arrival. 

Since November 2019, applications for 150 refugees and 96 separated family members have been lodged through Operation #NotForgotten. The Canadian Government’s assessment process has been significantly delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

However, the good news is that visas are now being issued and that 10 refugees will soon be restarting their lives in Canada. 

The current need: 

As you know all too well, a further 107 people remain confined to Nauru. Another 88 are still in locked detention – part of the group transferred to Australia for medical reasons. 

One of the worst situations is that of the 124 refugees and asylum seekers remaining in Papua New Guinea. They are to be abandoned by the Australian Government, who announced recently that it is withdrawing from its agreement with PNG. 

Operation #NotForgotten can secure freedom for 30 more refugees who have been trapped in PNG and Nauru for 8 long years. But to secure those resettlement spots to Canada, we need to raise $500,000 by Christmas. Otherwise, we will not have access to those 30 resettlement places. 

How you can help:  

Would you consider helping us raise this money, by sharing about it with your community this month?  Here are resources to help you do that: 

  • A draft email you could send (or use this text for your newsletter)  
  • An infographic you can share   
  • Campaign images (see below) 
  • Keep an eye on our social media posts to share Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Refugee Council of Australia http://action.refugeecouncil.org.au/   

"The Shape of Hope" is a book created by Hope Co-Op which describes how a group of Australian asylum seekers broke the barriers to quality education and good jobs.

"This is an extraordinary book. These young men and women of courage are creating their own pathways and helping others find theirs." Arnold Zable

Cost: $35 + Postage $15

Bank Account Details: Hope Co-Op 

                                    BSB 313 140 

                                    Acc 12256579

To order a copy: Please email Jill Parris e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Because of their visa status many asylum seekers do not get any government support while they study. All profits from "The Shape of Hope" will go to Hope Co-Op's 'Youth Support Fund' which provides a small living allowance to some members while they are studying.

Please pre-order - the book will be ready for distribution on 8 December 2021.

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