Daily Archives: March 27, 2013

Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support Resource Launched

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A new resource to help people to find ways of supporting asylum seekers and refugees in the Brisbane area was officially launched by the Brisbane Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support (BRASS) Network on Friday at Justice Place, Woolloongabba.

The BRASS Network also celebrated its first birthday at the launch.

The BRASS Network was formed by the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission in partnership with representatives of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane and the Uniting Church in Australia Queensland Synod.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that the network works with a range of refugee support agencies to find volunteers to support asylum seekers in the local detention centre and those living in the community.

“BRASS has brought together churches, refugee support agencies, refugee communities and individuals who are committed to the dignity of refugees and asylum seekers,” Mr Arndt said.

“BRASS is providing us in the churches an excellent opportunity to find out where the needs and problems are for refugees and asylum seekers,” he said.

“We have sent out requests for volunteers and various forms of help via our electronic bulletin and in special letters to parishes throughout the year as a result of the connections we have made with agencies and with asylum seekers directly,” he added.

“Jesus’ call for us to love our neighbours and to welcome the stranger is motivating so many good people to reach out to refugees and asylum seekers in the Brisbane area,” he said.

“There are so many inspiring stories about what these good people have done,” he said.

“Christians in Australia have an immensely important responsibility to humanise the discussion about refugees and asylum seekers and getting to know them and help them is an important first step in carrying out that responsibility,” he said.

“Those of us on the Commission who have been involved in the BRASS Network feel very privileged that we have been able to learn the stories of so many asylum seekers and refugees and to support them in some way,” he said.

The new resource called “Walking Together” is available by emailing em.fl@bne.catholic.net.au.

Everyone who is interested in supporting refugees and asylum seekers is welcome to participate in BRASS Network monthly meetings.

“There is so much you will learn and so much in terms of support and advocacy in which you can get involved,” he said.

The next BRASS Network meeting will take place on Friday 19 April at 10 a.m. at Justice Place, 5 Abingdon Street, Woolloongabba. More information about the BRASS Network can be obtained by contacting Peter Arndt at the Commission’s office on 3336 9173 or by e-mailing arndtp@bne.catholic.net.au