The Association is an independent, local community group of people in the Southern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.
We aim to raise awareness in our local area of the issues faced by asylum-seekers in Australia and its overseas detention centres in Nauru and Manus Island.
What we do
- Organise local events, e.g. speakers, films, cultural displays etc to raise awareness of the plight of refugees.
- Hold monthly meetings.
- Write letters to politicians
- Take part in programs that offer practical help for asylum-seekers who live in the community, e.g. with learning English, accessing community support, e.g. medical, legal and other services, and liaison with Government departments.
- Raise money to provide material support for refugees
BRASA started in 2013 with a group of friends who were inspired by the work of the Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project in Albert Park, and saw the need for a local group in the Bayside Area to help raise awareness of the plight of refugees.
The founding members were Judy Carroll, Judith Rafferty, Libby Strain (who passed away sadly in 2019), and Geraldine Moore.
Before long the circle expanded as people with similar interests joined BRASA.
A major turning point for BRASA was when the Minister of the Hampton Uniting Church invited us to meet in their parish meeting room. This enabled BRASA to expand by providing a venue for speakers and events.
From 2014 to 2017 BRASA visited asylum seekers in the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) centre in Broadmeadows approximately once a month, taking fresh fruit to supplement the meagre diet of fresh food given to the asylum seekers.
Despite the tightening of restrictions, there are still a few BRASA members who visit these asylum seekers.
BRASA has developed links with other groups such as the Goldstein branch of the Grandmothers against Detention, and the Refugee Advocacy Network who organise the annual Palm Sunday Walk For Justice For Refugees. We also work with the Refugee Action Collective who organise many of the protests against detention. We donate to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Friends of Refugees, the Human Rights Law Centre, Refugee Legal, the Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project and the National Justice Project.