Voices

Part of the mandate of JRS is to help give a voice to refugees. This section is dedicated to just that. Here you will find stories from refugees, their successes and the challenges they face rebuilding their lives.

On Assignment: Accompanying asylum seekers in Christmas Island

18th February 2014

I think [the attitude to asylum seekers] is ignorance, even from good people…We have become globally indifferent [and] lost our heart, as a nation. Christmas Island, 18 February 2014 —  JRS pastoral care worker Sr Dorothy Bayliss wrote to former…

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Levi’s Story

6th December 2013

When you talk to Levi, one of the first things you notice is the gentleness in his voice. It is an appropriate quality for this trained nurse from Kenya, who came to Australia for World Youth Day in July 2008….

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Nelson’s Story

6th December 2013

Nelson, a Sri Lankan refugee, sought asylum in Australia while visiting the country with his dance troupe in 2008. He was taking a huge risk, and one that threatened to break up his precious family. Relentlessly persecuted, threatened with imprisonment,…

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Barbar’s Story

5th December 2013

Babar has faced a painful journey since fleeing repression and intimidation in Pakistan in 2001. He arrived in Australia alone and scared. A bridging visa meant he was soon able to find work—first at a chicken factory and then as…

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Ali’s Story

6th November 2013

It has taken a long time for Ali to overcome his fears and suspicions after suffering religious persecution in his homeland of Iran. After converting to Christianity and experiencing a period of imprisonment, he fled Iran and sought asylum in…

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Farzad’s Story

6th November 2013

When Farzad arrived in Australia he had faced more persecution than most could bear: not only was he from the minority Hazara ethnic group, and a Shia Muslim in his majority Sunni homeland of Afghanistan, he was also a policeman,…

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Grace’s Story

6th November 2013

When Grace arrived in Australia she was pregnant with her fourth child. The baby was born in Sydney and is now growing up half a world away from her father and three siblings, who are still living under the threat…

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Australia: ‘Like a fish out of water, dying every moment,’ life in detention

20th June 2011

I thought Australia would care about us and we would be able to live a peaceful life without discrimination, but it has not happened. Australia, 20 June, 2011 – Jaffa has been detained in one of Australia’s Immigration Detention Centres…

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Australia: Why we are here – one detainee’s poem

16th June 2011

“We came here just because of fighting… many immigration officials think that we came here for food and for fun. It is totally wrong” Sydney, 16 June 2011 – Dunia loves to write. Dunia in Arabic and Indonesia means “World”….

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