A rich and diverse community organisation committed to the support of refugees that they may have the opportunity to live in a fulfilled manner, respectful of their dignity and aspirations.
Sanctuary Northern Rivers is a part of a loose collective of similar groups in rural and urban Australia. since 2003, we have endeavoured to support refugees who seek assistance. The mainstay of that support has been to provide sponsorship to refugees who seek refuge in Australia through an "off-shore" humanitarian visa. Sanctuary communicates with these persons and advocates on their behalf to gain a visa, an opportunity of new horizons. Sadly, for sheer weight of numbers, most applications are unsuccessful.
For those who succeed, Sanctuary supports their settlement and integration into the local community. This has immeasurable benefits for us as a whole community, as well as assisting those first steps on the new journey of the refugee.
In recent years, Sanctuary has supported efforts that may better the lives of refugees who remain in situations of difficulty - in camps, in cities or as stateless persons, seeking some place to find a home.
We also see a central role in working locally to echo the sentiments of social justice, in particular advocating for the most basic human rights throughout our community, and in assisting government bodies to frame refugee policy.
Our volunteers provide practical assistance and advice to new arrivals, from airport greeting and transporting to a new home, to assisting in location of accommodation, assembling furniture, introducing the new arrivals to the various assistance agencies, schools and medical facilities – and more. Volunteers can be called upon in emergencies, as mentors and to assist in the location of employment and training. In fact the role is incredibly varied and hugely satisfying.