Child seeking asylum with giraffe toy

CatholicCare, Jesuit Social Services and MacKillop Family Services have offered to lead a coordinated response to house and care for the 267 asylum seekers at risk of being returned to Nauru, following Melbourne Catholic Archbishop Denis Hart’s call for action from the Catholic community.

“CatholicCare, MacKillop Family Services and Jesuit Social Services have previously collaborated to provide housing and practical support to people seeking asylum and we now offer our services and experience to assist the 267 people currently at risk of being sent offshore to Nauru,” says Jesuit Social Services CEO Julie Edwards.

While the Federal Government is permitted to return the large number of vulnerable people – including 37 babies born in Australia – to Nauru following a High Court ruling last week, MacKillop Family Services CEO Micaela Cronin says it would be unjust and inhumane to do so.

“Offshore detention may have been ruled lawful but that doesn’t make it right,” says Ms Cronin.

“These are men, women and children with dreams and aspirations. They deserve an opportunity to be cared for and to contribute to our community.”

Acting CEO of CatholicCare, Sheree Limbrick, says the organisations can lead a coordinated response to ensure the 267 people seeking asylum have access to the vital community services they need to live in Australia.

“Our community organisations are ready and willing to coordinate the vital services these vulnerable people require to be productive members of our society, and we wholeheartedly endorse the leadership shown by both Archbishop Denis Hart and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews in recent days,” she says.

The three organisations have joined a growing number of community and church-based organisations calling for the Federal Government to allow the 267 people to stay.

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