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Commission reaches out to women asylum seekers

The Commission for Australian Catholic Women (CACW) has expressed its solidarity with families in detention following a visit and shared meal with women being held in the Woomera Detainee Housing Project in South Australia.

Following last week's visit, CACW executive officer Therese Vassarotti said the people of the diocese are providing "wonderful support" for people in detention centres and those women detained in the community.

"We were privileged to spend time with the women incarcerated in the Woomera Detainee Housing Project and listen to the stories which came from three years of living without freedom and experiencing physical and psychological deterioration," she said.

"While these women live in Woomera, their husbands and sons are detained behind wire in Baxter where living conditions are sustainable but detrimental to the potential of having life and having it to the full.

"Despite the limited resources of the women in Woomera, their invitation to us to share lunch resulted in a table overladen with their gift of hospitality."

Ms Vassarotti said she was struck by the isolation of the women.

"We drove three hours from Port Augusta to Woomera through kilometers of desert with little sign of human presence," she said.

The CACW office is offering to forward messages of support to the refugee women and their families.

Commission for Australian Catholic Women

Commission for Australian Catholic Women
Bishop urges action on detention centres (22/5/03)
Justice Commission warns Woomera trial 'splits families and costs a bomb' (3/12/02)
Woomera Detention kids attend first day at Catholic school (22/11/02)

3 Oct 2003