Friday, 25 April 2014

Forthcoming Activities and Meeting


Our next hospitality day is Saturday, 31 May 2014. Hospitality days are organised and hosted by members of Redlands for Refugees and are not public events as such. If you’re a member of Redlands for Refugees, please respond to the emails seeking confirmation of people’s availability. If you’re not a member of Redlands for Refugees but interested in being part of our hospitality team, please email David Busch.


Tuesday, May 13, 5:00 pm at Trinity Uniting Church, 47 Marlborough Rd, Wellington Point. A key item for discussion will be the May 31 hospitality day, so if you’re planning to come to that day it would be great if you could make this meeting. Rebecca Lim from Romero will be there too (emergent crises permitting).


Following up an idea raised at Tuesday’s meeting, we have been able to confirm that Frederika Steen and Rebecca Lim will be available to lead a special session on effective advocacy (e.g., writing letters to politicians, etc). Freddie and Rebecca are seasoned campaigners and will bring great tips, stories and resources. This will form the second part of our May 13 meeting – starting around 6:15 pm. If you’re keen to learn more about strategies and techniques to advocate on asylum seeker issues, please come to this session. It means our whole meeting might finish around 7:15 pm.


Refugee Week runs 15-21 June 2014. Our meeting on Tuesday was keen to know what was planned.

  • The annual lantern parade for refugees at South Bank will be on Friday evening, June 6. This is a large, colourful and inspiring event, and it would be great for R4R to have a visible presence there. Details TBC, but usually it starts about 6:00 pm from in front of the Cultural Centre.
  • Romero is running its annual Refugee Week Film Festival on Friday-Saturday, June 6-7, at the State Library of Qld. The Friday will include a conference  panel session and film screenings; then adjourn to the Lantern Parade. The Saturday is a family day hosted by the Stater Library for Romero.
  • The Refugee Action Collective is planning a Refugee Week rally – tentative date is Saturday, June 21.
These dates will help us to plan our community education event in June – the thought was we’d hold an event in mid-June which could also encourage interested people to participate in a city-wide event.

Monday, 14 April 2014


Group members gather with their placards under the
 Redlands for Refugees banner in King George Square, 
Brisbane, on 12 April 2014.
About 10 members of Redlands for Refugees participated in Brisbane’s rally and march for refugee and asylum seeker rights on Saturday, 12 April 2014.

It was the first time the R4R group participated as a body under its own banner at a public event of this kind.

Group members held placards which had been used at the prayer vigil for asylum seekers the previous night. These placards had a Christian theme, with quotes from the Bible and from statements of concern made by Australian church leaders and agencies.

The Redlands for Refugees banner was prominent in the
 march through Brisbane city streets.
The rally, organised by the Refugee Action Collective, drew over 500 people from a wide range of groups, who gathered for an hour of speeches in King George Square before a march through city streets. Two speakers at the rally, Rev. Dr Peter Catt and Rev. Kaye Ronalds, had spoken at R4R’s prayer vigil the night before.

The Brisbane event was the first in a weekend of rallies and marches for refugee rights in cities across Australia.

David Busch


The value, quality and dignity of human life needs to be the central consideration in thinking about responses to asylum seekers.

 Uniting Church Queensland moderator, Rev. Kaye Ronalds,
speaks at the prayer vigil.
Pastor Jim de Witte of the Redlands Christian Reformed Church in Ormiston said this in opening the prayer vigil for asylum seekers, organised by Redlands for Refugees and held at his church last Friday night, 11 April 2014.

More than 100 people from across the Redlands and further afield attended the vigil.

Speakers included church leaders and two asylum seekers, with music from members of the refugee choir, Scattered People.

Participants lit candles of remembrance and hope, and wrote messages of encouragement for asylum seekers on cardboard hands which were placed inside a small boat.

Pastor de Witte said the vigil sought to offer a place where people could connect with the human faces and stories of asylum seekers, in the context of the Christian and humanitarian principles of dignity, compassion, respect, welcome and valuing of life.

Some members of the Scattered People choir, 
performing at the prayer vigil
Tamil priest Fr Pancras Jordan spoke about the situations of violence and oppression around the world which forced many to flee their homelands; the Anglican Dean of Brisbane, Very. Rev. Dr Peter Catt, who chairs the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, spoke about the need for truthful language and a focus on human and moral rather than political considerations; and Uniting Church (Qld) moderator, Rev. Kaye Ronalds, referred to biblical injunctions to care for widows and orphans and welcome the stranger, and gave many examples of people and communities responding with practical compassion to asylum seekers.

    David Busch

Wednesday, 2 April 2014


Redlands4Refugees organise a prayer vigil
A prayer vigil for asylum seekers is being held on Friday, April 11, from 7:00 pm at the Redlands Christian Reformed Church, cnr Sturgeon and Delancey Sts, Ormiston. Key participants will include the Uniting Church (Qld) Moderator, Rev. Kaye Ronalds; Anglican dean Peter Catt who chairs the Australian Churches Refugees Taskforce; Tamil Dominican priest Fr Pancras Jordan of Pax Christi; and the Scattered People refugee choir. The vigil is organised by Redlands for Refugees, a non-political church and community group based at Trinity Uniting Church, Wellington Point, which aims to offer hospitality and support to asylum seekers and refugees in the community. The one-hour vigil will focus on prayers for countries in conflict and turmoil, asylum seekers and refugees fleeing their homelands, the complex domestic and international challenges which this creates, and the overarching need for asylum seekers to be treated with dignity, care and support consistent with their human rights and with Christian values. All are welcome. Supper will follow, and there will be opportunity to register interest in being part of the Redlands for Refugees group. Further details: Uniting Church pastor David Busch, 0438 646 559, or Reformed Church pastor Jim de Witte, 3286 4700.