You may have heard recently about how the Australian government is making cuts to the Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS). This program provides asylum seekers in the community, who are awaiting the outcome of their protection visa application, with a basic income (89% of a Centrelink Newstart Allowance) and casework support. New tightened eligibility criteria will mean that around 500 people in Perth may no longer have access to this program.
CARAD is a fabulous organisation in Western Australia that has assisted thousands of refugees and asylum seekers with a range of services. Their latest newsletter reports they are witnessing many people facing destitution and homelessness as a result of no longer having a safety net of financial and casework support available to them.
They are calling on people to take action by finding out the facts and getting involved via the following methods.
ADVOCATE – Engaging with your local Member of Parliament is an effective way of demonstrating that you care about justice, non-discrimination and upholding human rights for all. Advice on how to go about writing to your MP is on the CARAD website.
DONATING FOOD – With more and more people relying on their food bank to provide food for their families CARAD is seeking donations. Their website outlines the food and non-food items that are most often needed.
VOLUNTEER – CARAD has many volunteer roles on offer including homework support, English tuition, assisting with the food bank program, and helping out at the CARAD office. They also have a new Food Truck project just getting off the ground and are looking for people who have skills in vehicle mechanics/maintenance, hospitality/food industry, small business management, marketing or event management. Their volunteer information sessions are held every month – here are the ones coming up:
- Thursday 26 July, 12pm
- Tuesday 14 August, 5.40pm
- Wednesday 15 August, 12pm
More information on volunteering is on the CARAD website. If you would like to get involved in the Food Truck project please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEMBERSHIP – By renewing your membership or becoming a CARAD member you will give weight to their vital advocacy work, stay up-to-date on news and events and can actively participate in the organisation. More information on membership and on how to make a donation is on their website.
If you are located elsewhere in Australia there are a range of other organisations you can support that assist asylum seekers and refugees.