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Byron Shire
April 23, 2024

A gentle day for refugee and asylum seeker families

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Rebuilding communities from Lennox and Evans Head to Coraki and Woodburn

In February and March 2022, our region was subject to a series of weather events that causeed one of the nation’s worst recorded flood disasters. The economic impact of a natural disaster can be felt far beyond the damage to housing and infrastructure.

A day for fun at Pottsville. Photo supplied.

Promoting community awareness, assistance and support, for asylum seekers and refugees, the Pottsville Refugee Support Group recently hosted refugee and asylum seeker families from Logan at a fun day at the beach.

Over 50 families from Burma, Sri Lanka, Iran and Afghanistan who now call Brisbane home, enjoyed their visit to Pottsville Beach, the markets, and park.

Pottsville Refuge Support Group spokesperson Ian Hamilton said the annual event had been cancelled during the COVID pandemic and it was a relief to have the families visit Pottsville again. ‘The sun was shining as kids and adults took to the waves under the watchful eye of Cabarita Beach Surf Lifesavers. We had been hosting this event for a few years before COVID hit and it was always so well received by the refugees and asylum seeker families so it was disappointing to have to cancel it for two years running.

The Brisbane lockdown

‘These families weren’t able to leave Brisbane during lockdown. This year we were determined to have the families back to Pottsville to have a day out where they could enjoy themselves.’

Chris Miranda from the Refugee Association of Logan said refugees and asylum seekers valued the efforts of groups like the Pottsville Refugee Support Group. ‘The people we work with in Logan have often experienced trauma and disadvantage, so being welcomed and embraced by people in local communities means a lot to them. Some families we work with still have no work or study rights while on temporary visas.

‘There are so many local community groups in Australia supporting refugees and asylum seekers and this gives us hope and confirms that our communities are caring and supportive.’

Photos supplied

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  1. What a caring community. We allow refugees to visit our beach for a few hours.
    We won’t allow them to live here, because, you know we have to protect the Byron environment and culture.

    • Pottsville isn’t Byron, it’s actually the Tweed shire, and they do live here, just in Brisbane. I wish the same care was given to those born here that still have no homes from the floods and those that still can’t work because they do not won’t a Covid jab.

    • Caring community one hand, as opposed to harsh government policy that has nothing to do with “protect the Byron environment and culture”, on the other hand


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