The hearts of Australians have gone out to the numerous families suffering from the devastation brought about by these seemingly never-ending bushfires. The resilience of those affected, and the heroic response of firefighters and numerous volunteers, has been almost unbelievable. I heard one man say, as he and his family looked at their burnt out home: “I feel like a refugee in my own country”. As we look at these heartbreaking scenes perhaps we can spare a thought also for the many refugees fleeing for their lives, trying to find any means of escape from danger. Perhaps, also, we can realise how impossible it is for war refugees and those escaping those who want to harm them, to try to get visas, to reach a safe means of transport, to extract their official documents from a bombed out home. Australians have shown, as we always had, that we can respond generously to those who need the help we can provide. On our TV screens we are seeing we are capable of doing it. Let us not ignore those asylum seekers who have come to our shores in any way possible and desperate for our help.
Sr Eileen Hayes SGS