Support for Asylum Seekers at Hearings (SASA)
SASA provides practical and moral support for ASRC members when they attend official appointments. Volunteers accompany members to a range of places, the most frequent being the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Other appointments can be at Red Cross, Centrelink, Medicare and various consulates. We may also attend tribunal hearings if Legal volunteers are not available.
What We Do
SASA volunteers are available to go with asylum seekers to appointments relating to their case or to any meeting that may have an impact on their situation. Why do we accompany them? Our members are often unsure of the official procedures that they need to complete; they may not be familiar with the geography of Melbourne or they may have limited English.
SASA volunteers can make sure that asylum seekers know where to go and check that they have necessary documents with them. We can help them to understand what is happening, ensure that they are treated fairly and if necessary, have an interpreter. Following their appointment the volunteer makes a booking for a SASA volunteer to accompany the member to a future appointment, if needed. They also write a brief report which is shared with other ASRC programs such as Legal and Casework, so that everyone is kept up to date with the members’ situation.