Read the JRS Australia Annual Report 2018 here. Once again, thank you all for walking with us in our mission to improve the lives of the many children, women and men that are seeking asylum in Australia.
Our mission is to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees, people seeking asylum and other forcibly displaced people. The 2018 JRS Australia Annual Report demonstrates the multifaceted ways we carry out this mission. From our direct ‘on-the-ground’ actions to support the empowerment of people seeking asylum so that they can find work, have food and shelter, be part of a community, and harness their talents and skill-sets, over to our involvement in the 2018 Wentworth Bi-Election, to the Global Compacts, JRS is at the forefront. With the help of people like you, we work in situations of the greatest need, we advocate for humane policies and we walk alongside people seeking asylum through our current harsh and punitive political landscape; people like Soraya.
Soraya’s relationship with JRS. In 2012, Soraya* and her husband arrived in Australia by boat. They did not know whether they could stay, but they knew they were safe. In Western Sydney, the couple made a life for themselves and had two children. In 2019, the family were told that their Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS) support payments would be cut.
Initially, Soraya and her husband were able to support themselves, and their young family. Then, Soraya’s husband sustained a back injury that meant he had long periods off from work due to the pain. The payments through SRSS were enough to cover some expenses, but the family often made choices between food, medication, and public transport. When Soraya was 8 months pregnant, the family’s SRSS payments were cut off. Unsure of how they would pay for rent or food, and terrified of being evicted before the arrival of their baby, Soraya came to JRS for support.
Through JRS, the family accessed emergency relief payments to keep their accommodation; JRS’ Foodbank covered basic weekly grocery items; and the family also accessed ongoing casework support. This included referrals to the Dandelion Support Network for baby items, Anglicare for additional financial support, and to Refugee Health for an Early Childhood Nurse to visit Soraya and the baby, as the family were still waiting on Medicare access for their newborn due to delays in issuing a Bridging Visa. Soraya’s JRS caseworker also referred her to RACS to help advocate with Immigration for the issue of the baby’s Bridging Visa
Since then, Soraya’s husband has been able to return to work and is now supporting his young family, but they are appreciative that JRS was there when they had no where else to go. Soraya is particularly grateful for the calm reassurance of her caseworker and that JRS would do everything it could to make sure that she and her baby had access to services that would ensure their health, safety and wellbeing. Soraya was one of the many women, children and men that JRS has directly assisted and supported. *Name has been changed to protect identity.