Refugee Week is underway with with hundreds of events held across Australia highlighting the struggles faced by refugees.
“Refugee Week is a vital opportunity to recognise and celebrate the contribution of refugees to Australia … we also recognise the great damage Australia’s government has caused asylum seekers,” Refugee Council of Australia communications director, Tim O’Connor, told The Newsroom.
“The official launch in Sydney on Friday had representatives from all political parties uniting and supporting a passionate and humane approach to refugees.”
The theme of this year’s week is “With courage let us all combine”, taken from the second verse of the Australian National Anthem. The choice of words refers to the courage refugees require to escape persecution and to speak up about the injustices refugees face coming to Australia.
The week’s main goal is to educate people about refugees and eliminate misconceptions. It is also a means for local communities to further support and embrace refugees within their own community.
Sydney is holding over 100 events ranging from art and dance exhibitions to public talks, theatre projects and film screenings.
Some of the major events in Sydney are the New Beginnings: Refugee arts and culture festival, which features an exhibition at the Chrissie Cotter gallery in Camperdown and the Speaking of Freedom Forum at Sydney Town Hall. More events across Sydney can be found here.
Refugee Week runs from June 19 to June 25.– Matthew Buchanan