Close Search
News  |  Government

Community Sector Calls for New Approach to Asylum Seekers

5 September 2011 at 5:42 pm
Staff Reporter
Leaders of Australia’s major charities and social service organisations have signed a statement calling on the Australian Government to give up offshore processing and establish a humane approach to people seeking asylum.

Staff Reporter | 5 September 2011 at 5:42 pm


Community Sector Calls for New Approach to Asylum Seekers
5 September 2011 at 5:42 pm
Above: Woomera detention centre (Flickr image AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by Karen Eliot

Leaders of Australia’s major charities and social service organisations have signed a statement calling on the Australian Government to give up offshore processing and establish a humane approach to people seeking asylum.

The campaign is being lead by the national peak welfare body, the Australian Council of Social Services, which ran the asylum seeker statement as a half-page advertisement on page 8 of The Australian newspaper on Thursday, 8th of September.  The ad included the full statement, along with the names of the 200 signatory organisations.

The statement on behalf of the Australian community sector calls on the Commonwealth Government to abandon its fixation with offshore ‘solutions’, and to establish a just and humane approach to Australia’s response to people seeking asylum.

On behalf of leaders of Australia’s major charities and social service groups, the statement says it calls for both major political parties to ‘de-politicise’ policies about asylum seekers by abandoning offshore processing.

The number of organisations that have signed the statement has almost reached 250, with many organisations also donating to pay for advertising space in The Australian.

Organisations that want to join the call for a new approach to Australia’s asylum seeker policy following last week’s historic High Court ruling can still sign the statement on the ACOSS website.

As a group, the signatories to the statement are calling for:

•  Both major political parties respect the full implications of the high court ruling
• The Australian Government to take leadership on this issue
• The Australian Government to immediately rule out offshore processing and mandatory detention
• The Australian Government to immediately move to process all asylum seekers onshore
• The Australian Government to increase our refugee and humanitarian intake in the region and honour its commitment to resettle the 4000 refugees from Malaysia
• The Australian Government to continue to work towards a regional solution to the plight of people seeking asylum

The statement concludes with the following statement:

As a country, Australia must adopt just and humane policies on refugees and asylum seekers and in so doing raise the level of debate and treatment of some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Only then will Australia be able to hold its head high in the international community as a nation with a commitment to human rights and a deep appreciation of the plight of people seeking a safe haven from persecution and a better way of life.

To view the full statement, click here:

To donate to the campaign, or to become a signatory of the asylum seeker statement, visit

List of signatories: 

ACOSS – Australian Council of Social Service
ACT Council of Social Service
ACT Hepatitis Resource Centre
ActionAid Australia
Advocacy for Inclusion
Amnesty International
Anglicare Australia
Anglicare Victoria
Armidale Rural Australians for Refugees
Arts in Action
Association Amis des Enfants Australia Inc.
Association of Children's Welfare Agencies
Asylum Seekers Centre of New South Wales
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Asylum Seekers Christmas Island
Athelstone Uniting Church
Australian Association of Social Workers (National)
Australian Association of Social Workers (SA Branch)
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
Australian Community Workers Association
Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS)
Australian Education Union
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations
Australian Friends of Flores/International Society of Human Rights Australia
Australian Greens
Australian Kurdish Association
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union
Australian Muslim Women's Association
Australian Services Union – NSW & ACT Services Branch
Australian Services Union – Victorian Private Sector Branch
Australian Women's Health Network
Australian Youth Affairs Coalition
Berry Street
Blue Mountains East Timor Sisters
Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project
Brigidine Sisters
Brotherhood of St Laurence
Cabramatta Community Centre
Cairns Diocese Social Justice contact
Caritas, Catholic Mission, ACSJC
Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of Brisbane
Catholic Religious Australia
Catholic Social Services Australia
Catholic Social Justice Commission of Canberra & Goulburn
Centacare Bathurst
Centacare Cairns
Centacare Catholic Family Services Catholic Diocese of Port Pirie
Centacare Townsville
Centacare Mount Isa
Central West Women's Health Centre Inc.
Centre for Community Child Health
Centre for Health Service Development
Churches of Christ CareWorks SA & NT
Climate and Health Alliance
Coalition for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees
Coalition of Women's Domestic Violence Services of SA Inc
Community Legal Centres NSW
Community Living Project Inc.
Community Restorative Centre
Consumer Credit Legal Centre NSW Inc.
CPSU, the Community and Public Sector Union, SPSF Group
Creative Contingencies
Crossroads Community Care Centre Inc.
DASSAN (Darwin Asylum Seeker Support & Advocacy Network)
Didactic Enterprises
Disability Resources Centre
Domestic Violence Resource Service
Eastern Community Legal Centre
Edmund Rice Centre
Equatoria Community and Welfare Assciation NSW Inc.
Family Relationship Services Australia
Family Life
Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia
Federation of Italian Migrant Workers and Families
Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre Inc.
Footscray Community Legal Centre
Fremantle Multicultural Centre
Gippsland Multicultural Service
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealan
Granville Multicultural Community Centre
Green Left Weekly
Griffith University
Hepatitis C Council of SA
Hills Community Options Inc.
Hinterland Community Development Association
Homelessness Australia
Human Rights Law Centre
Illawarra Legal Centre
Immigrant Women's Support Service
Independent Education Union
International Society of Human Rights – Australia Inc.
Islamic Council of Victoria
Ivanhoe Local Group Amnesty International
Jensen Planning & Design
Jobs Australia Limited
Justice and Peace Office, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
KGA Consulting GroupMASH
Medical Association for Prevention of War
Mekong Migration Network
Melbourne Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office
Mental Health ACT
Mental Health Association NSW
MercyCare WA
Micah Projects
Migrant Women's Support Service Inc.
Milang Old School House Community Centre
Mission Australia
Mountains Community Resource Centre
Multicultural Communities Council of SA
Multicultural Services Centre of WA
Multicultural Youth Affairs Network NSW
NSW Family Services Inc.
National Tertiary Education Union
National Association of Community Legal Centres Inc.
National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS
National Council of Churches in Australia
National Ethnic Disability Alliance
National LGBTI Health Alliance
National Shelter
National Welfare Rights Network
NSW Council of Social Service
Neighbourhood That Works
Network of Immigrant and Refugee Women of Australia
Newcastle Family Support Services
New Internationalist Australia
Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre
NT Council of Social Service
NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby
NSW Rape Crisis Centre
NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors
NSW Spanish and Latin American Association
Older Women's Network NSW Inc.
PeakCare Queensland
Peel Community Legal Service
People's Choice Credit Union
People Living With HIV/AIDS Victoria
People with Disability Australia
Physical Disability Australia Ltd.
Presentation Sisters Queensland
Project SafeCom
Public Health Association of Australia
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Public Interest Law Clearing House
Queenscliff Rural Australians for Refugees
Qld Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research
Refugee Advice and Casework Service
Refugee Advice and Rights Service
Refugee and Immigration Legal Service Inc.
Refugee Action Coalition, NSW
Refugee Action Network Newcastle
Refugee Council of Australia
Refugee Relief Association
Refugee Rights Action Network
Rural Australians for Refugees
Richmond Community Services Inc.
Romero Centre
Rosemount Good Shepherd Youth and Family Services
Salvation Army (Bendigo)
SA Council of Social Service
Shelter SA
SHine SA
Sister of Mercy Australia
Sisters of Mercy Bathurst
Sisters of Charity of Australia
Skill Teaching And Resources Inc.
Social Justice Commission Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba
Social Justice Network
Social Policy Connections
Socialist Alliance
South West Brisbane Community Legal Centre Inc.
Southern Junction Community Services
Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre
Springvale Community Aid and Advice Bureau
St. Anthony's Asylum Seeker Support Group
St Bede's Braidwood Social Justice Group
St George Youth Services Inc.
St Marys Area Community Development Project Inc.
St Vincent de Paul Society
Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service (SA)
Sydney Multicultural Community Services
Tasmanian Council of Social Service
Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia
The Hepatitis C Council of SA Inc.
The House of Welcome
Toowoomba Refugee and Migrant Support
Top End Women's Legal Service
Uniting Church in Australia National Assembly
Uniting Church in Australia Synod of Victoria and Tasmania
UnitingCare Australia
UnitingCare Centre for Social Justice
UnitingCare Cutting Edge
UnitingCare Community
UnitingCare Gippsland
UnitingCare Victoria and Tasmania
UnitingCare South Australia
UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide
UnitingCare Wesley Bowden Inc.
UnitingJustice Australia
Unity Housing Company Ltd.
Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency
Victorian AIDS Council/Gay Men's Health Centre
Victorian Council of Social Service
Victorian Council for Civil Liberties
WA Council of Social Service
Welfare Rights Centre (SA)
Welfare Rights Centre, Sydney
Western Sydney Aboriginal Reconciliation Committee
Western Sydney Community Forum
Williamstown Uniting Church Social Justice Group
WISE Employment
Women With Disabilities Australia
Women's Activities and Self Help House Inc.
Youth Action and Policy Association NSW
Youth Affairs Network of Qld
Youth and Cultural Development, NZ
Youth Coalition of the ACT
Youth Network of Tasmania
YWCA of Canberra
Zena Women's Services Inc.
2020 Women
94.7 The Pulse

Abdul Karim Hekmat
Adrian Duke
Adrian Greenwood
Alan McPhate
Alexandra Gargett
Andre Charadia
Andrew Graham
Andy Gargett
Annalisa Koeman
Anna-Marie White
Anne Caldwell
Anne Cunningham
Anne-Louise Lagudi
Anthony Grego
Antony McMullen
Ashley Dalton
Ben Howland
Bernadette Reeders
Bernice Finlayson
Bethany Broadstock
Bethany Uhe
Carmel Elliott
Catherine Collier
Cathie Bond
Cecilia Lim
Celia Warr
Chau Nguyen
Cheryl Gardner
Chris Connors
Christine Ellison
Christine Palomo
Claire Rorke
Clara Brack
Colleen O'Sullivan
Cyril O'Connor
Daniel Hall
Daniel O'Neill
Danielle Domanski
Darren Wright
David Aitken
David Aitken
Debi McLachlan
Deborah Brooks
Deborah Warneke-Arnold
Denise Allen
Denise Farlow
Drew Hanna
Elyse Dickson
Emily Long
Emily Stannard
Emma Dickson
Erica Imelfort
Erin Kirby
Eugene D'Souza
Eva O'Neill
evonne andrews
Fabia Claridge
Felix Ryan
Fiona Mccoll
Frank Farmer
Gabi Rosenstreich
Galavizh Ahmadinia
Grevis Reid
Hassan Saleh
Hayley Allen
Heather Gridley
Heidi Ernst
Heidi Zajac
Helen Tyrrell
Holly Wright
Hutch Hussein
Izabel Soliman
Jackson Taylor
Jacob Davey
Jacqui Carrier
Jaime de Año
Jan Hubrechsen
Janet Bodycomb
Jeannie Rea
Jill Pope
Jill Ruzbacky
Jill Webb
Jo Buick
Jo Penney
Jodhi Wilkinson
Johanna Mithen
john clarkson
John Kelly
Jude Ekerick
Kaisu Vartto
Karen Mangan
Karine Shellshear
Kate O'Sullivan
Kathryn Miller
kathryn rendell
Kerry Henriksen
Kerry Nicol
Kikki Tagaroulias
Kimberley Wilde
Kylie Whyte
Laura Healy
Lauren Coyte
Lesley Gruit
Liam Wilde
Linda Seaborn
Lisa Loughnan
Lisa Newey
Lisa Quarrell
Liz Bannister
Lorraine Threlfall
Lorraine Walsh
Lucas Taylor
Lucy Daniel
Lucy Fiske
Lucy Jensen
Lucy Thurley
Lyndal Greenwood
M J Teitzel
Maralyn Frances
Marg Leser
Margaret Triffitt
Maria Altmann
Marie Hapke
Marion Harper
Marita Hanscamp
Mark Caruana
Mary Eke
Mary-Lu Burt
Matilda Martinez
Matt Boundy
Matt Martin
Max Nicholls
Michael Boswell
Michael Evans
Michael Hanlon
Michael Hynes
Michael Smith
Mick Tivey
Mike Cassidy
Mike Dickson
Mostafa Ghandar
Nathan Hancock
Neil Skilton
Neil Skilton
Nick Wood
Nigel D'Souza
Nora Honkala
Patricia MacGinley
Patricia Powell
Paul Devitt
Paul Falzon
Paul Kniest
Paul Lewis
Paul McDonald
Paulette Alfaro
Penelope Cappas
Peter Brown
Peter Lewis
Peter McDonald
Peter Sainsbury
Rachael Bongiorno
Rachel Dempster
Rebecca Dunsdon
Rebecca Lamb
Rene Sephton
Reynato Reodica
Richard De Martin
Robyn Barnard
Robyn Bourchier
Robyn Gould
Rosemary Grundy
Rowan Steele
Russell MacKinven
Sally Bradley
Sally Woodliff
Sandie Ekpa
Sandra Wendlandt
Sarah Planken
Selena Woodward
Serena Racar
Sharmila Falzon
Sheenagh McShane
Sibylle Shirley
Stephen arne
Sue Harrison
Sue Jamesion
Sue Lyne
Susan Smith
Susanna Dunkerley
Susie Irving
Suzanne Snead
Suzie Stollznow
Tamara Jolly
Tanya Jackson-Vaughan
Tatjana Bergmann
Tess Keam
Thushyanthan Sivanantha
Todd McCarthy
Toni Chang
Tony Kent
Tracey Crawcour
Trudy Bray
Val Mooney
Valda Burge
Veronica Mahoney
Vesna Horely
Will Shea
Zoe Clark 

Get more stories like this


One comment

  • Is this article about a New Approach to Asylum Seekers, or just another vacuous call for someone else to come up with some ideas? Come on guys, isn’t it urgent time to put some real creative energy into this rather than just complain and then move on to the next issue?? we need triple bottom line solutions. Obviously the government, the opposition nor apparently the community sector has a clue what to do, so we will end up with the politically do-able if we are not careful – ie the lowest common denominator between the government and the opposition. Do you want that?

    My idea is Offer #asylumseekers 15hrs/wk work on public ‘eco’housing & gardens in xchange for food, accom & $+/-

    What is your idea? Let’s start a constructive conversation… please.


What next on government engagement?

Neil Pharaoh

Monday, 27th March 2023 at 12:12 pm

Embedding gender equity in government engagement

Ellen McLoughlin

Wednesday, 8th March 2023 at 10:19 pm

Businesses on notice as ACCC sweeps covers off greenwashing

Danielle Kutchel

Friday, 3rd March 2023 at 3:16 pm

ASIC launches first greenwashing court action

Isabelle Oderberg

Tuesday, 28th February 2023 at 8:28 am

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook