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Balmain For Refugees

Balmain for Refugees

Balmain for Refugees (BFR) is a committee of Balmain Uniting Church and the wider community. BFR volunteers have helped over seven hundred asylum seekers since its inception in 2001 in the wake of the Tampa crisis. BFR is comprised of a wide range of volunteers including lawyers and final year law students, psychiatrists, psychologists, interpreters and translators, transcribers and community member from a wide range of backgrounds.

BFR’s initial focus was providing assistance to failed asylum seekers in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre. BFR has also received requests for help from asylum seekers in Perth, Baxter, Curtin and Sherger Immigration Detention Centres (IDCs). As more asylum seekers are now being released from detention BFR’s role has widened to include asylum seekers living in the community.

BFR’s two major roles are:

  1. Assisting failed asylum seekers to apply to the courts for review of their adverse decisions; and

  2. Writing requests to the Minister to intervene based on compelling new evidence and information that refugees face torture, imprisonment and/or death in their home countries.

More recently, BFR has been concerned about the increasing number of boat arrivals who are flown to Sydney to settle in the community and know no one. 

How can you get involved?

BFR is constantly in need of volunteers who have some legal or other professional skills. If you're keen to get involved, please send us an email on

Balmain Uniting Church Offers Sanctuary

Balmain Uniting Church is proud to be one of the churches across Australia offering Sanctuary to Asylum Seekers facing imminent transfer to off-shore detention centres.


How can you help us?

You can help us out by doing the following:

Unfortunately, we are not able to take donations of goods e.g. blankets, clothing, furniture and food. Please contact your local op shop to see if they are able to make use of these items in your area.

Thanks again for your kind and generous support.


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