Dec 20, 2012

‘Sleeves rolled up’: providing Salvation not activism to asylum seekers

The Salvation Army has been criticised for working for the government in Nauru. Salvation Army Major Paul Moulds says helping people is about what you do on the ground -- not just about placard-waving.

Australia’s response to asylum seekers continues to generate heated debate and a wide range of views. When the decision to recommence regional offshore processing was announced, The Salvation Army offered to provide welfare and support services to the asylum seekers transferred to Nauru and Manus Island, despite its public opposition to this policy. This decision has been criticised by some commentators such as Bruce Haigh (“Waiting for Salvation in a Nauru detention centre“, December 14) but it has always been the mission of The Salvation Army to serve in places where people are suffering or in distress.

Haigh praises The Salvation Army for its presence and support of Australian troops during the war, yet fails to recognise that it is the same passion and motivation that leads our organisation to work with asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island. Where there is suffering you will find The Salvation Army, whether it is caused by a cyclone, war, poverty, illness or otherwise.

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3 thoughts on “‘Sleeves rolled up’: providing Salvation not activism to asylum seekers

  1. Mark Edmonds

    Thank God for the Salvation Army.

  2. george gally

    the letters from detainees read out in the senate hearings were heartbreaking and the advocacy for those people in Nauru and Manus by the Salvos should be acknowledged. The Salvos must keep remembering why they are there as the years pass for people who will remain in those countries for a long time.

  3. David Wright

    Perhaps Major Moulds should examine the treatment given by the Salvation Army to advocates for asylum seekers at the Baxter Detention Centre.
    the link below may be of assistance.

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