Letter to Minister for Immigration

We encourage you to use this template letter to send/email the Minister for Immigration, Minister Andrew Giles, encouraging him to take action for people seeking asylum.



Dear Minister Giles, 

My name is [YOUR NAME] and I live in [YOUR SUBURB OR ELECTORATE]

I am one of tens of thousands of Australian Christians who are part of Common Grace - a movement of individuals, churches and communities pursuing Jesus and justice together for the flourishing of all people and all creation. 

I am writing to you today because I care deeply about justice for people seeking asylum. As the numbers of people displaced across the world reach record highs, I am passionate about seeing Australia adopt a more just, generous, and compassionate response to those who seek safety on our shores. 

I am grateful to you and your government for the change in posture that we have seen in our nation towards people seeking asylum over the last 12 months. 

The decision to provide a pathway to permanent residency for Temporary Protection Visa (TPVs) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEVs) holders is one that I warmly welcome. This change in policy will make it easier for refugees to reunite with their families, study, travel and participate more fully in their communities. I rejoice with those nearly 20,000 refugees for whom this policy change will impact, and I am grateful that after 10 years of uncertainty, justice has prevailed - thank you. 

But there is still so much to be done. As we work towards a more just and generous approach to refugees and people seeking asylum, I urge you and your government to commit to the following steps.

Provide a pathway to permanency for people seeking asylum subjected to the unfair Fast Track process and abolish the Fast Track process

The government’s recent TPV/SHEV announcement excluded approximately 10,000 people seeking asylum who arrived by sea and are not TPV or SHEV holders. These people have been living in Australia for over a decade and are part of our communities, like the now famous and embraced Muragappen family from Biloela.

This group of people seeking asylum have been subjected to an unfair process to assess their protection claims, which is referred to as the Fast Track process. This process unfairly discriminates against people seeking asylum because they came to Australia by sea. However, all people seeking asylum should have access to a fair and efficient refugee status determination process regardless of how they came to Australia. The Australian Labor Party platform acknowledged the unfairness of this system and committed to end it.

Australia, in response to a community wide campaign, decided to provide the Muragappen family permanent residency. A decision that was met with acclaim and celebration. We should now extend the same protection to all people that have lived and built connection with our country over the past 10 years, even as they endured the uncertainty of their visa status and the unfairness of the Fast-Track process.

Increase Humanitarian Intake

There are currently more than 100 million people displaced across the world today. Meanwhile, Australia’s annual intake of refugees through our Humanitarian program is sitting at its lowest level in 45 years. 

I note that in their national platform, the Australian Labor Party committed to increasing the refugee and humanitarian intake to 27,000 places per year, with an additional 5,000 places for community-sponsored refugees. Like many others, I warmly welcomed and celebrated this announcement. 

Your recent announcement that Australia will significantly increase our humanitarian intake to 20,000 is a step forward, but it still falls short of the government's commitment.

As we see ongoing humanitarian crises unfolding, including in Afghanistan, Myanmar and Sudan, it is essential that Australia plays its part in responding as a generous and wealthy nation. Please follow through on your promise by releasing a concrete and timetabled commitment to increasing our humanitarian intake. 

Increase Aid to address Global Refugee Crisis

Across the world, instability, conflict, and famine has caused people to flee their homes in search of safety. One way that Australia can contribute meaningfully to stemming the impacts of the global refugee crisis is by supporting people facing crisis and displacement overseas.  

I note that in the May 2023 budget, there has been a slight increase of $9m in allocations to “humanitarian, emergencies and refugee” funding.  I welcome this increase. But it is not enough. 

Over the next year, Australia’s Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) as a percentage of our Gross National Income will continue to fall, entrenching Australia as one of the least generous aid donors in the world. 

Providing ODA is one of the ways that we can contribute to a more just and secure world for all. According to the Australian Council for International Development, Australia’s global fair share contribution to humanitarian assistance is $1.15 billion, well above our projected spend in 2023/24 of $643.3m. 

I urge you to map out a timetabled pathway to meet this fair share over time, as a step to increasing our overall ODA. 

End offshore processing

We are grateful that the last refugee held by Australia in Nauru has been evacuated off the island. However, the government should take the final step and terminate this policy. We also call on the Australian Government to transfer the refugees and people seeking asylum held in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to Australia. Some of these people are extremely ill (physically and mentally), with medical facilities on PNG offering inadequate medical support. Continuing to hold them in PNG is unjust, denies them basic human rights and is actively harming them.

Not only has offshore processing caused significant and irreparable harm to the lives of refugees and people seeking asylum, but it has also cost the Government billions of dollars, and is in direct contravention of international law. The government has budgeted over $1.5 billion over the next four years to simply keep offshore processing agreements running. We should end this cruel policy and redirect these resources toward providing our fair share of global humanitarian assistance.

As a Christian, I believe that all people are made in the image of God – meaning all people, including those seeking asylum, have inherent value and equal worth. I long to see the day where our nation’s immigration policies reflect this vision, treating all people with respect and dignity.  

Minister Giles, thank you for serving our country in this portfolio, and for the ways that you have already been at work to move our nation towards being more just and generous. I look forward to seeing this continue and stand ready to support you in this important work. 


Yours Faithfully, 



Download PDF letter here.

Contact details for Minister Giles can be found here.