Refugees & Migrants

Migrants and RefugeesThe issue of Australia's approach to refugees and asylum seekers was discussed at length during the 12th Session of General Synod in July 2001. During the meeting, General Synod resolved (Resolution 08/01):
 
"That this General Synod:
1. a) calls upon the people of our dioceses to give continuing care to refugees and asylum-seekers through prayer, and other spiritual physical and emotional support;
b) applauds the work of Anglicans throughout the country already involved, including Anglicare Australia and its members; and
c) requests the dioceses of the Anglican Church of Australia concerned to act to provide chaplaincy and pastoral care, where possible, to residents of detention centres in NW Australia, Woomera, Villawood, Maribyrnong and any other centre created;
 
2. requests the Federal Government and, in particular, the Minister for Immigration and Multi-cultural Affairs to:
a) conduct an urgent review of the plight of temporary protection visa holders and the support mechanisms available to them in the Australian community;
b) address the disparity between current treatment of persons overstaying their visas and persons held in detention or with temporary protection visa status; and
c) provide separate and appropriate living quarters for women and children detainees if so requested by any of them;
 
3. asks the Standing Committee of General Synod to establish a working group which will -
a) advise the Standing Committee on how these issues might be best addressed in the dioceses and parishes so that action can be taken at every level of the Anglican Church of Australia;
b) undertake such research as might be necessary to further this work; and
c) report back to the next session of this Synod;
 
4. asks the dioceses of the Anglican Church of Australia to observe Sunday 26 August 2001 as Refugee Sunday this year, and that the last Sunday in August be observed as Refugee Sunday in each year from 2002."

Mandate

In June 2005, the Standing Committee affirmed the mandate of the Refugee and Migrant Working Group as follows -
1. Gathering and collating information around diocesan work on refugees and asylum seekers;
2. Networking with Anglican and ecumenical staff in refugee ministries;
3. Advising Standing Committee, General Synod and the Bishops' Conference on issues, necessary action and advocacy;
4. Collating information on Sudanese ministry in the Anglican Church of Australia;
5. Monitoring issues relating to Government policy and the implementation of policies such as mandatory detention, care of people in detention, deportation of people at risk (eg. for political or religious reasons), trafficking; and
6. Encouraging awareness within the Anglican Church of Australia and also observance of Refugee Sunday.

ReportS to General Synod

Refugee and Migrant Working Group report to General Synod 2017
Refugee and Migrant Working Group report to General Synod 2014