Refugee Week is an annual week-long celebration of the positive contributions of refugees to Australian society. It’s an important addition to the Australian calendar, for so many reasons.
Refugees bring incredible strengths, knowledge, wisdom, skills, resilience, and lived histories to their newly settled lives. The diverse and thriving Illawarra is a wonderful example of how the contributions of refugees can enrich a community.
Learn about how you can celebrate Refugee Week in the Illawarra here. There’s plenty going on!
It’s also a time to engage with the challenges faced by refugees, and an opportunity to reflect upon how best we can provide a safe and welcoming environment for refugees.
Leaving everything behind in one life and beginning another in a different country with different laws, different education and health systems, different languages and different cultural expectations requires a period of adjustment. Often, people from refugee background face significant trauma from their past, making this process all the more difficult.
By walking alongside people from refugee background during this difficult transition time – forming friendships, extending a helping hand when needed, and providing a warm welcome – our community is strengthened as a whole.
The Illawarra is a leader in refugee support, with SCARF’s dedicated network of volunteers being just one testament to this. But there’s always room to strengthen our support through responsive action, and to continue to educate the broader community about the refugee experience.
This year’s Refugee Week theme is ‘with courage let us all combine.’
Taken from the second verse of the national anthem, the theme celebrates the courage of refugees and of people who speak out against persecution and injustice. It serves as a call for unity and for positive action, encouraging Australians to improve our nation’s welcome for refugees and to acknowledge the skills and energy refugees bring to their new home.
Read more Refugee Week and this year’s theme at Refugee Council of Australia.
Want to join in the celebrations this Refugee Week? Check out what’s on in the Illawarra here.