The Montmorency Asylum Seekers Support Group (MASSG) aims to support people who have sought asylum in Australia and to defend and promote their right to do so. We do this by assisting individuals in our community, by contributing to organisations supporting asylum seekers (e.g ASRC), by working to raise awareness and compassion within our community, and by campaigning for change in government policies and practices.
To read our newsletters, click here.
Updates on the situation on Manus Island
Life on Manus – talk from Anne Moon
On Sunday 19 November, 50 people heard directly of the situation on Manus Island from Anne Moon, a refugee advocate who’s in constant touch with men on Manus, and recently returned from a third visit. In slides and passionate descriptions she told their stories and vividly illustrated their desperate situation and the direct responsibility of the Australian government. Follow Anne’s updates on the current situation on Manus here. And read the Guardian’s current story here. Our thanks to the Living Faith Church for their kind and efficient hosting of this event.
Download the handout for Manus support and protest to help you make your voice heard.
From the meeting, $1100 was donated to the fund to support legal aid for the men negatively assessed for refugee status in processes UN has described as flawed. To contribute online to this fund, click here.
The Undoing of Australia Fair
Congratulations and thanks to Grandmothers against Detention of Refugee Children for their inspiring event in Melbourne on Sunday 12 November. You can read here Michael Gordon’s contribution to the morning’s thinking.
Speaking out: make your voice heard
We urge you to contact Senators and Members of Parliament to give them your views on the current crisis situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia’s ‘care’.
Addresses and emails for senators and members are in pdf files you can download here.
If you share our hopes for change in Labor policy you can send your message instantly to all Labor Senators and Members of Parliament, using the list we have compiled of their emails. Download our –Labor parliamentarians email list 2017 – and paste it into the BCC field of your email. They are now shifting on many issues, including the NZ offer to take Manus Is refugees. Let them know voters urge them to shift.
Our current campaigns
As described in our newsletters, we submitted to the Senate enquiry into the Government’s proposed changes to citizenship law – our submissions joined 10,000 others opposed to the changes. Two (2!) were in favor. Read about it here.
We’re talking with Labor
MASSG strongly believes the ‘bipartisan’ support for cruel policies to asylum seekers must end, and that Labor must confront the fact that its silence allows those policies to continue. If you agree, tell Labor! Email addresses for all Labor parliamentarians are here. We have written individually to every Labor Parliamentarian. We have received an answer from the Shadow Minister for all of them, and just three bothered to reply individually. Read those letters here.
In 2001 the Tampa tragedy hit the headlines, and the Australian population learned, for the first time, about the plight of asylum seekers attempting to enter our country by boat. One morning in 2003 a small group of friends met for coffee and soon began discussing the latest news about asylum seekers. These kindly women were horrified that people could come here and go hungry in a land of plenty. They decided to meet monthly and collect non-perishable food which would be given to the Asylum Seekers’ Resource Centre. And so the Montmorency Asylum Seekers’ Support Group was born.
Fourteen years later it still exists……. think for a moment about that. Fourteen years! Over those 14 years, Australia built an indelible reputation for cruelty, selfish rejection of those in need and shameful defiance of international condemnation. And for 14 years the Montmorency Asylum Seekers’ Support Group has spoken out against those policies, lobbied those who make them and helped those hurt by them.
Befriend our Friends! This is what we do.
Cleaning or gardening? Contact Varathan!
Varathan Nagappan has been 11 years in limbo, since he left Sri Lanka, seeking asylum in Australia. He still waits for the results of his visa application, made over 2 years ago. But meanwhile, he has married and set up his own business, NVS Cleaning Services .
NVS Cleaning Services will do your house cleaning, carpet steam cleaning, vacate cleaning, office and commercial cleaning, window cleaning. And, yes, Varathan does gardening! When the garden jobs tower over you, his energy, skills and cheerful, courteous help are invaluable! Contact Varathan through his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NVSCleaning/.
Home maintenance? Contact Mahdi!
Mahdi, his wife Samaneh and their baby daughter, are seeking asylum from persecution in Iran. When MASSG introduced Mahdi to David and Julie, owners of a local Montmorency Home Maintenance business, where he started full-time employment. Now, Mahdi has launched his own business, Banyule Maintenance.
Mahdi does small maintenance and building projects using his carpentry, plumbing and painting skills. He has also done a number of landscaping jobs including retaining walls and paving. Mahdi would welcome your enquiries on 0469 592 941. Or go to his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/banyulemaintenance/.
Sewing and dressmaking? Contact Roya!
When MASSG was asked to help Roya Husseini, a professional dressmaker from Iran, we printed flyers about her work and for many months we collected fabrics donated from our network, which she sewed into lovely cloth bags. Roya is currently training for aged care, but will take orders for custom dressmaking work. View the flyer on her work here: Sewing by Roya. Contact her on 0435417749.