Home Among the Gum Trees RAR

Rural Australians for Refugees

Home Among the Gum Trees Victoria

and

Home Among the Gum Trees NSW

Home among the Gum Trees Victoria
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Home Among the Gum Trees NSW
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Home among Gumtrees RAR
Home Among the Gum Trees
Regional and Rural Australia may be the key to a safe future for asylum seekers.
Please use your connections to find settlement and employment opportunities for the people you meet. They have diverse skills and interests.
A holiday is the starting point, so we can have fun and make friends.
In time you will begin to think about future options, but for the first visit, relax, play!This program works well and is fun and heart-warming because people join in with generosity and good will. Of course there can be glitches, so be prepared, and solve these quickly.Aims
• Link asylum seekers with supporters and networks in regional and rural Australia
• Create understanding, friendships so regional communities have a personal way to make a difference, and asylum seekers feel accepted
• To welcome asylum seekers into Australian homes and share the breakfast table so that each can dispel stereotypical ideas and fears.
• Find employment, settlement opportunities if needed.
• Give asylum seekers the chance to see rural Australia to decide if they like it or not because many will be offered options to settle in regional areas.
• Have fun!!…you will find it is fun. Heart-warming.. life changing. Especially for people who are constantly vilified and treated with suspicion. They need reassurance that there is goodness in humanity.Background
Asylum seekers have no idea how the Australian family functions, their values and behaviour. On TV and in movies it looks pretty wild and debauched!
Australian families have no idea about Asylum seekers. On TV and in movies they look threatening.
If we are going to change Australian attitudes to asylum seekers, we have to let our friends, neighbours, cousins get to know them. Start with ourselves, one person at a time.Asylum seekers can be different ages, cultures, religions, education levels.
Asylum seekers are kept in poverty on 89% of NewStart. They can pay rent if they share rooms. Supporters in the city assist with food and furniture.
After being denied all access to Australian mainstream life, asylum seekers now are getting work rights.
There are visa options being rolled out. At the moment some asylum seekers have been offered a choice. Temporary Protection Visas TPV or Safe Haven Enterprise Visas SHEV. I can forward information.
TPV offers no hope to gain family reunion or settle in Australia. The idea is to send them back.
SHEV means there is a possible pathway to security if a person is 5 years in a designated area and working 3.5 of these years and off Centrelink. This is where rural areas can help. At the moment all of Tasmania is a designated area and all except metropolitan areas of NSW are designated. We are waiting for Vic, Qld etc to negotiate with the Comm Gov to enlist in the program.School holidays are best for families, singles, couples, and pre-schoolers are more flexible.
A trusted person/people
• Responds to a query from a regional or rural community
• links with asylum seekers, case workers, support network to find those who would like to go for a holiday
• Organises a meeting so asylum seekers can meet each other and find out about the holiday. This can be in a community facility, café, park, wherever people feel comfortable.
• Match host and asylum seeker. Watch out for potential issues, eg health, vulnerability, English level, place asylum seekers where they will have appropriate supports.
• spends time answering questions, talking about the hosts and destination, talking about advantages of the program, what to expect, how to support each other and optimise the benefits for all
• gets asylum seekers to share phone numbers, add host contact details,
• provide asylum seekers with written information about the activity so they can show friends, case worker, English teacher
• provide written notes about arrangements, bus times, meeting place, return options etc.
• Make travel arrangements
• Fund travel arrangements
• Facilitate the travel in any way necessary, ie meet them at the station, make sure they are all on the bus, or if necessary accompany them part the way to assist with bus connections, or accompany them all the way
• Use the easiest, cheapest public transport so that they will learn how to do this independently in future.
• Has contact details for all guests and hosts so as to message all the day before, in time to catch the bus, when all are on board, on arrival, during the holiday to check that all is well or sort any issues. I just use a phone text message
• Checks after the holiday about how it went, Use feedback for future modification of the program.Country Link. Community Liaison
• A community group links families to talk about the idea of supporting asylum seekers and offering a holiday.
• Meet in a relaxed way so that all can ask questions and get to know each other.
• Choose a coordinator
• Decide who will be host or supporter. Do not place asylum seekers with an inappropriate host or situation.
• Think how to support each other and plan at least one combined picnic or outing during the holiday.
• Talk about the program, what your community can offer, and preferences. Read through guidelines and information together.
• Fill in forms and email to city link.
• Coordinator communicates with city link for information and arrangements and passes this on to group.
• Stay in regular contact before, during, and at least once after the holiday
• Spread the word to neighbouring communities.
• Liaise with local council, media, and churches, as appropriate to support cultural understanding but not expose asylum seekers to intrusive photos or interviews. If there is going to be any formal event please inform asylum seekers and city coordinator well before the holiday so asylum seeker’s personal security is maintained.

 

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