Situated in the Indian and Pacific oceans, Australia is a destination for displaced people travelling from central to east Asia and everywhere in between. The majority of refugees in Australia come from Iran, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, or are stateless.

Because of Australia’s position as an island, many migrants attempt to reach the country by boat. Australia’s current immigration legislation reflects this, instituting mandatory detention of unauthorised arrivals, specifically those arriving without visas by boat.

Recently Australia’s immigration policy has become notorious for offshore processing. Under this arrangement Australia sends asylum seekers who arrive by sea to Nauru or Manus Island (Papua New Guinea), where they are detained until their refugee status is determined.

JRS Australia accompanies, serves, and advocates for refugees, people seeking asylum, and other forcibly displaced people. In many cases, these people face destitution, uncertainty, and homelessness as government policy grows increasingly unwelcoming and punitive.

In response, JRS Australia offers dignity and hope through emergency assistance, temporary shelter, a foodbank, professional casework, community activities, employment support, school engagement, legal advice, targeted advocacy, and a project to empower women seeking asylum.

Junghee, a volunteer, teaches English at the JRS Arrupe Community Centre in Parramatta. (Denis Bosnic/Jesuit Refugee Service)
Marthe, a JRS food bank volunteer, offers food to refugees at the JRS food bank in the Arrupe Community Centre in Parramatta. (Denis Bosnic/Jesuit Refugee Service)


#Do1Thing: A Heart for Others 02 Mar 2018