Monday, December 3, 2018

Next General Meeting - SAT DEC 8, 2019

Please note the next General Meeting for the Mid North Coast Refugee Support Group will be at Wauchope Arts Hall (Oxley Lane opp Bain Park) on Saturday December 8 from 10am.
Topics to discuss include
  • On going support for newly arrived Tamil Refugees
  • Tamil Culture exchange
  • Vicarious trauma training
  • Recommendation for future new arrivals
  • Purchase of T-shirts made by refugee on Manus Island
  • Home Among the Gum Trees Report
  • Support for refugee resettlement areas
  • fundraising ideas.
A Tamil lunch will be available afterwards - $20 donation.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

General Meeting and AGM - Sat Oct 6, 2018

Att: Refugee Supporters
As most of you are aware some of the Tamils in Sydney have chosen Port Macquarie as their regional settlement place, something they are required to do to comply with their visa requirements. While most of the people that will be arriving here have lived in Australia for a few years, living in a regional or rural setting is a new experience This also means finding accommodation, jobs, enrolling in schools or tertiary education facilities and getting to know the locals.

This means more work and engagement for our group, we need more active members. We would like to invite you to discuss how to share the load and how you can get involved. Our AGM is coming up on Saturday 6 October 10am at Wauchope Arts Hall, an opportunity to get involved.  The AGM Notice and Nomination Form are attached.

Our regular General Meeting will follow the short AGM and include the following topics:
  • Update on the Tamil Resettlement and support needs 
  • Possible African Resettlement
  • Multicultural Group meeting report
  • Update on assistance to refugee student on Nauru
  • Information about visiting Baptist Minister, Darrell McKerlie, who worked at Curtin Detention Centre from 2010-14
  • Purchasing refugee-made T-shirts
  • Other business
Come and join us for a light lunch after the meeting.
Kind regards,

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Hi all. As the President of the Mid North Coast Refugee Support group I'd like to encourage you all to contribute to this blog. Our next meeting is on Saturday 4th August and I'd like to get feedback about whether having our meetings in Wauchope is the best option. Would you like the meetings in Wauchope, Port Macquarie or are you indifferent? Please let me know. All the best Janette

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Agenda - Sat August 4, 2018

Mid North Coast Refugee Support Group
Meeting Saturday 4th August 2018 at 10am
Wauchope Arts Hall, Bain Park 


Welcome and Introductions

Follow up from the Tamil visit – including proposal to encourage Torture and Trauma (STARTT) services in the area and for a welcoming dinner when people move up.
International Human Rights Day, 10th December 2018 – Arts project update
The future of the Art Exhibition

Brief follow up on African resettlement

Proposal to run a Cross Cultural Awareness Workshop (see attachment)

Home Among the Gum Trees report

Current and future members – consideration of ways to involve/engage

Investigation of Immigration Community Sponsorship

Human Flow” film by Ai Wei Wei – report on possibility of local screening

Knitting and other support for refugees

Minutes from last meeting
Financial report             
Next meeting date –AGM Saturday 6th October 2018 - Wauchope Arts Hall.  

Refugees visit region

Excerpts from Port Macquarie News article, Friday July 13, 2018.

The Mid North Coast Refugee Support Group has welcomed 14 refugees from the Tamil community who are considering making the Hastings home.
In Port Macquarie on July 9 the group spent the day visiting TAFE, Port Macquarie SkillsLink and Charles Sturt University to discover potential educational possibilities. They were also able to spend time at the Koala Hospital and at the beach.
Janette Jones from the Mid North Coast Refugee Support Group said that a number of members are considering a move to the Hastings.
“The group of refugees are currently based in Sydney but have come for a visit to the Hastings this week as part of the See Visit program,” Ms Jones said.
“The refugees are all from Sri Lanka and have fled severe persecution and trauma to end up in Australia. 
“And even after they have been granted legitimate refugee status they have to adhere to a strict criteria of being self sufficient in order to stay.”
click to read story online

The group, which includes families and a number of adults, have been in town exploring all of the wonders the Port Macquarie-Hastings region has to offer.
“The visas they have mean they are expected to work or study and support themselves, but part of the criteria is living in regional places like Wagga Wagga, Bathurst and Port Macquarie, after being settled in Sydney,” she said.
“Today’s visit is a chance for them to have a look at a regional area they may wish to call home and so we have visited some tourist places as well as places where they may be able to get employment.”
Support worker, Reverend Dr John Jegasothy said the group, despite being refugees, have a long battle to become permanent residents let alone citizens.
“Fleeing the trauma and war in Sri Lanka is only the beginning for these refugees, once they arrive in Australia they have to keep proving they are legitimate which can be draining,” Rev Jegasothy said.
“It can be a 15 year process to become a citizen and that is only after reapplying for visas a number of times.
“Multicultural NSW has been extremely helpful to get opportunities for the refugees so they can move to our regional hubs.”
Refugee and potential new comer to Port Macquarie, N.BA. Nikshan Sharma, said after all the trauma that the refugees have faced, Port Macquarie looks like a delightful place to settle down.
“All of the refugees who have to leave Sri Lanka have been through great traumas and it can be really hard to keep going but by being surrounded by caring people and great support it does make it easier,” Mr Sharma said.
“All of the group have been struggling to live in Sydney so we are looking at moving to a regional hub like Port Macquarie.
“We have been shown around today and everyone we have met and spoken to have been absolutely wonderful.”
Ms Jones also said that there will definitely be a number of refugees moving to the area and if anyone would be willing to help ease their move to please get in touch.
Mid North Coast Refugee Support Group can be contacted via their Facebook page or email

Monday, March 5, 2018

Harmony Day 2018 will be celebrated in Port Macquarie on March 21.

For latest info on Mid North Coast Refugee Support group activities see our Facebook page.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fundraising event at Comboyne

Save the date - Saturday May 5, 2018 - for a fabulous fundraising event at Comboyne War Memorial Hall from 3pm.
Entertainment by The Nano Symphony, a wonderfully creative and talented group with ties to the local area.
For latest details go to the Mid North Coast Refugee Support Group Facebook page.