A key value in all religions is the Golden Rule. Another important value in religions – and in interfaith activity – is hospitality to the stranger. The government is withdrawing support services for people living in our communities who have fled war and persecution, including financial support and trauma counselling from victims of torture. Back your neighbour asks you to sign a petition for them, for when we back our neighbours, they give back.
Yet earlier this year, the federal government outlined a plan to cut support from up to 7,000 people who had come to Australia fleeing war and persecution. The scheme currently provides payments to asylum seekers living in the community while the federal government finalises their protection claim. Without these support programs, thousands of people seeking asylum will become homeless or destitute, forcing them to use already overstretched council and charity sector services.
We are calling on Australians to tell the federal government that we don’t need to cut the SRSS program, that we don’t need to put many people – who might otherwise become our doctors, nurses, lawyers, colleagues, friends and neighbours – out on the streets.
Because when we back our neighbours, they give back.
The Back Your Neighbour campaign is a coalition of Australian local governments working with community groups, welfare organisations and ordinary Australians who oppose cuts aimed at the most vulnerable members of our community [see attached overview].
Read an overview on Back Your Neighbour and the cutbacks to the Status Support Resolution Program – the effects this is having on asylum seekers in the community.
Read the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Report, “Cutting the Safety Net” and the impact the cuts have on asylum seekers in the community.
When we support people seeking asylum, they give back:
Keeps families safe around the water
Ramzi Hussaini arrived in Australia after fleeing war in Afghanistan a decade ago. Initially separated from his family, the support of his neighbours and community helped him land on his feet and find a job.
Today, Ramzi works at Lifesaving Victoria, both as a lifeguard and as a community outreach staff member. From managing programs for children through to an active presence on Melbourne’s beaches, Ramzi plays a key role in helping families stay safe around the water. Because we supported Ramzi when he first arrived, our beaches are safer. Helping people fleeing war and persecution land on their feet allows them to give back to their communities and benefits everyone.
Join our campaign and show the government that we want to help people land on their feet. Because when we back people like Ramzi, they have our back too.
Cooks meals for the homeless
Nayran Tabiei arrived in Australia fleeing the violent civil war in Syria. She left behind a successful career as a chef to bring her daughter to safety in Australia.
Today, Nayran uses her cooking skills to make meals for the homeless. Every Friday, Nayran cooks, serves, and cleans up hundreds of meals, making sure vulnerable people are well fed. She also volunteers to run cooking and craft classes for the elderly, and spends her Christmases making free meals. Because we supported Nayran when she first arrived, she is able to help hundreds of homeless and elderly people. Helping people fleeing war and persecution land on their feet allows them to give back to their communities and benefits everyone.
Join our campaign and show the government that we want to help people land on their feet. Because when we back people like Nayran, they have our back too.
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