Vinnies to assist people seeking asylum whom Government has let down


The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW will be providing financial assistance and practical support to some of the men, women and children in NSW who were brought to Australia from offshore detention for medical reasons. Their special benefits and accommodation allowances were severed by the Federal Government on 28 August.

Denis Walsh, President of the Society, said that the Society had decided to assist the people affected by the latest action of the Government because it was clearly the right and just thing to do.

“These people have been abandoned but we will pick up where the Government has let them down,” said Mr Walsh.

“We are committed to helping this group, who are some of the most marginalised and vulnerable groups in our community. We will use our own funds to provide financial assistance, accommodation and case management. We also plan to work closely with health providers to provide healthcare.”

The Federal Government has issued a new visa to this group known as the final departure Bridging E Visa. Under this visa, income support of about $200 a fortnight ceased on Monday 28 August and a three-week deadline to move them out of government-supported accommodation was imposed.

Affected by the new visa are over 50 babies born in Australia, women who have been sexually assaulted on Nauru, pregnant women and men injured on Manus Island.

Jack de Groot, CEO of the Society, said this decision would irreparably harm individuals and families who had been rebuilding their lives in local communities.

“It is unconscionable to force families who have experienced extreme trauma onto the streets. The Society aspires for an Australia transformed by compassion and built on justice. We welcome all those who come to us, wherever and however they come to us, with compassion and respect for their dignity,” said Mr de Groot.

“Our commitment to asylum seekers and refugees is grounded in the values of the St Vincent de Paul Society – compassion, respect, integrity, empathy, advocacy and courage. These men, women and children must all be allowed to stay in our communities to continue rebuilding their lives. We are extending our hand to help people who have no place to turn.

“The Society has launched a fundraising appeal and we are calling all fair-minded Australians to donate so that we can support the children, women and men at risk of homelessness due to these harsh changes. Donations can be made through our website”