The Headlines: Why Almost 20,000 Refugees Will Soon Become Permanent Aussies

Huge: 19,000 Refugees in Australia to Be Supported 

After decades of being stuck in a brutal limbo land, 19,000 Refugees in Australia will soon be able to apply to permanently reside here. That’s right, thanks to new government changes, Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) holders won’t have to stress about being shipped off to another country or being unjustly detained.  

The perks of being a permanent resident include:

“TPV and SHEV holders work, pay taxes, start businesses, employ Australians, and build lives in our communities, often in rural and regional areas,” said Immigration Minister, Andrew Giles. “Without permanent visas, however, they’ve been unable to get a loan to buy a house, build their businesses or pursue further education.”

“It makes no sense, economically or socially, to keep them in limbo.”

This news pleased the likes of Kon Karapanagiotidis, the CEO of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. For over 20 years, Karapanagiotidis has been supporting and fighting for refugees in Australia. 

“I know there are still more than 70,000 people seeking asylum still in limbo in Australia. You are not forgotten,” said Karapanagiotidis.

“However, it’s important to celebrate today for the 19,000 refugees on TPVs and SHEVs who will finally be able to get a permanent visa.

“Well done to the Albanese Government for leading with decency, values, and compassion and doing what was simply right here. It’s a great start.”

Türkiye and Syria’s Earthquake Death Toll Has Hit 33,000

In some terrible, terrible news, the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria has continued to cause both heartache and fatalities. The magnitude 7.8 quake, which hit both of these places on February 6, has officially killed over 33,000 people.

To make matters worse, a spokesperson for the Syria Civil Defence, Oubadah Alwan, stated that deaths could have been avoided if this volunteer rescue group had been better supported. 

“Disappointment and abandonment is definitely a general feeling,” said Alwan. “We’re seven days into the earthquake. Our organisation has been calling for help, for manpower, for rescue equipment, and in the first couple of days, we were just ignored and were left to deal with the situation on our own.”

“Machines were breaking down, volunteers were digging people out with their own hands. The catastrophe at this scale could have definitely been avoided if we had some help earlier on.”

Related: Earthquake in Türkiye — Here’s What You Can Do to Help

Related: What It’s Like to Be an Asylum Seeker or Refugee in Australia

Wirangu and Nauo Peoples Received Native Title Rights

After over 25 years of waiting, Wirangu and Nauo peoples will share native title rights in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. The news means that these two communities will now have the right to camp, hunt, hold meetings, perform ceremonies, and protect cultural sites across part of this region.

“Everybody’s really proud and happy about it, especially my siblings and me,” said Nauo and Wirangu man, Jody Miller.

“My mother was a Wirangu lady, and my father was a Nauo man, so you can tell how we’re going to feel. I was trying to hold tears back today. It’s been a long and hard struggle.”

Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that Wirangu man, Jack Johncock, stated the native title process isn’t a fair or functional one.

“It’s sad that this is a process we have to do, considering our genealogies have been here for thousands of years,” said Johncock.

“We’ve got to go through a white court to justify to white people in this country and the Commonwealth that we once inhabited this country, and I think it’s ridiculous.”

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