Introduction

Resettlement of Bhutanese in South Australia began on 13 May 2008 with the arrival of two families in Adelaide, under the Third Country Resettlement program launched by the Seven Core Countries – Australia, Canada, Denmark, Netherland, New Zealand, Norway and United States.

Out of 20,000 Bhutanese resettled so far in the aforesaid countries, 400 have already made South Australia their home. These Bhutanese have been forcibly exiled by the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) in 1991 and were living in the camps in eastern Nepal supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The resettled Bhutanese in South Australia are generally the victims of human rights violation in Bhutan – Many of them direct victims of torture.

Resettlement in Australia

The resettlement process of Bhutanese, languishing in Nepal, was started around 2006 at the back drop of perpetual deadlock of Bhutan Nepal Bilateral Talks and the ever increasing insecurity, threat and violence in the camps.

Of the seven core countries, Australia has pledged to resettle 5000 Bhutanese within a time period of five years. So far, over 1000 Bhutanese have been resettled in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Territory and Tasmania. More are expected in South Australia in the coming days.

After more than one and half decade of trauma and turbulence in their lives, the Bhutanese have finally breathed a sigh of relief on being permanently resettled in a great nation like Australia. Now, in their new home, all of them appear hopeful and look forward to making their futures better and brighter.

Community Organisation

On 5th November 2009, the Bhutanese in South Australia formally established its community organization called the Bhutanese Association in South Australia (BASA), incorporated under the Association Incorporation Act 1985 Section 20(1) of Government of South Australia. The first AGM held on 30th July 2011 amended the organization name to Bhutanese Australian Association of South Australia (BAASA).  The organization is inclusive, non-profit and non-partisan, with the Head office in Adelaide, South Australia.

It has a Constitution that enjoins all Bhutanese to work collectively, in good faith, for service, security, progress and prosperity of the Bhutanese community in South Australia. Its organizational structure consists of Apex Council, Executive Committee, Advisory Board, Ombudspersons and Members’ Assembly.

Aims and Objectives

  • To work collectively, in good faith, to provide the members with wide ranging services and security, and to help realize all-round progress and prosperity.
  • To encourage each member to understand and imbibe the Constitution of Australia.
  • To support the promotion and protection of human rights of Bhutanese people, both living within and outside Bhutan, in accordance with the UN General Assembly Resolution 53/144 of 9 December 1998.
  • To protect, promote and preserve diverse culture, language and heritage prevalent in the community and to strive for world peace.
  • To inculcate better socio-cultural, ethical, pluralistic and democratic values; sense of responsibility and accountability and civic sense in children, youth and adult members.
  • To enhance better understanding, tolerance, mutual respect, amity and unity amongst members of the community.
  • To promote and develop cross cultural bonding and good relationships with the broader Australian communities and institutions, and participate in environmental conservation activities.
  • To materialize necessary social and emotional support to aged people and people with disabilities.
  • To eliminate all forms of discrimination against women in the community and to promote equality of rights of women and men.
  • To provide services and support to student and youth members to achieve excellence in the field of education and vocation, and to assist members to find suitable and sustainable employment.
  • To inform, educate and empower members by organizing appropriate trainings, workshops and seminars on varied issues and topics.
  • To promote and facilitate the settlement of Bhutanese in South Australia and continuously support their transition and integration in the mainstream Australian society.

Executive Committee

1. Chairperson – Kamal Dahal
2. Vice Chairperson – Lal Bahadur Rai
3. Secretary – Jai Narayan Bhandari
4. Treasurer – Amber Chhetri
5. Public Officer – Tika Katel

Apex Council Representatives

1. Amrita Magar
2. Beda Bista
3 Bhim Bahadur Magar
4. Chandra Rai
5. Deepak Sunar
6. Dhanrup Biswakarma
7. Dilip Majhi
8. Kalu Singh Subba
9. L. B. Yogi
10. Lila Subedi
11. Madhu Gurung
12. Menuka Yogi
13. Prem Gurung
14. Ram Maya Majhi
15. Sita Dulal
16. Som Maya Subba
17. Sovitman Poudel
18. Yoga Maya Bhattarai

Advisory Board

1. Bhabi Lal Shankar
2. Birkha Gurung
3. Buddha Khatiwods
4. Chitra Gautam
5. Gauri Niroula
6. Gopal Ghimeray
7. Harki Maya Biswa
8. Jogen Gazmer
9. Laxman Yogi
10. Nar Bahadur Magar
11. Pabitra Dahal
12. San Man Kafley
13. Suren Ghaley
14. Sushil Pokhrel
15. T. B. Rai

Ombudspersons

1. Avishek Gazmere
2. Ambika Prasad Dulal
3. Bhanu Adhikari
4. Dom Nath Kafley
5. Ichha Poudel
6. Rup Kumar Ghaley

Club of Former Chairpersons

1. Jogen Gazmere
2. Suren Ghaley

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