AUGUST 2020 – Congratulations Noeline Nagle BMRSG!

Noeline Nagle is a volunteer with the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group. She has regularly visited Villawood Detention Centre, and has also been a community visitor, which means she goes to the homes of refugees and people seeking asylum, usually in the outer suburbs of Sydney. She has been a tireless volunteer for the past decade.

In 2013, she recognized that boredom was a big issue for people living in community detention. Unable to work or study, they were restless. She was close to a number of Tamil men and knew how important cricket was to them. In 2013, she had an idea of forming a cricket team. She reached out to Wentworthville Leagues Club who agreed to sponsor the team. She reached out to journalist Peter FitzSimons who wrote a story about this in his column and put out a call for help. In came offers of help from reader of the Sydney Morning Herald. And the club started – Ocean 12. It was a huge achievement. The team has won the Australian championships for the Last Man Stands T20 in 2016 and 2019, along with the RIA Cup in Sydney. The group still continues today and brings happiness to the Tamil community.

In the recent years, Noeline Nagle has facilitated swimming lessons for the children of the refugee/asylum seeker families in Western Sydney. She has been passionate in getting the families and kids involved, and now we have a number of young kids who have taken to swimming. In Noeline, we have a person who believes in improving mental health through physical health and her undying commitment and endless passion and positiveness.

We nominate Noeline for this award because she is, on one level, typical of so many volunteers who work in RAR groups. They travel long distances from their homes to visit detention centres, and visit refugees they support in their homes. They bring their families back to their homes. They never give up. They serve on RAR committees, they fund-raise. Most importantly, they build friendships.

Thank you Noeline, and all the thousands of people like you, who quietly, persistently, and with generosity, give your time, your energy and yourself to support people who simply seek safety and security in Australia. You remind us of the values we hold in Australia.

While we call out Noeline here, I’m sure all RAR groups will take a moment to say ‘thank you’ to the unsung heroes in their own groups.


In response to the false information being circulated about #medevac health information. Here is accurate information, from parliament:



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