Uniting Vic.Tas has recently learnt that more than 160 refugees and asylum seekers are about to be released from community detention with nowhere to go, no job and little income support.
This situation has arisen because the Australian Government has recently begun granting a Final Departure Bridging Visa E (BVE) to some refugees and asylum seekers who were transferred to Australia from Nauru and Papua New Guinea. The government’s action means that the recipients of those visas, once exited from community detention, will receive a government payment for a period of 3 weeks and then will be expected to find employment to support themselves.
As many of the affected people will not have worked in Australia or possibly prior to arriving in PNG or Nauru, it is unlikely that their skills or English level will be at the required level to obtain meaningful employment during the 6 months of their bridging visa.
Uniting is seeking your help to ensure these people receive the support they need to transition to life in Australia. Uniting’s Asylum Seeker Program will be able to facilitate some work options in regional Victoria as well as provide accommodation and emergency relief. However, this will only meet some of the demand.
We are therefore asking whether you or anyone you know can provide accommodation for one or more asylum seekers for a period of 6 months or until they find employment. Alternatively, you may want to make a financial contribution or donate food and other essential items.
We also need volunteers to help people write job applications, CVs and drive people to appointments and provide other assistance.
If you can provide assistance, please contact Andi Jones on 0409 091734 or to make an immediate donation, visit the Uniting website.