Refugee Week June 14 - June 20, is Australia’s peak annual activity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society. Originally celebrated in 1986, Refugee Week coincides with World Refugee Day (20 June).
Refugee Week provides a platform where positive images of refugees can be promoted in order to create a culture of welcome throughout the country. The ultimate aim of the celebration is to create better understanding between different communities and to encourage successful integration enabling refugees to live in safety and to continue making a valuable contribution to Australia.
The aims of Refugee Week are:
- to educate the Australian public about who refugees are and why they have come to Australia;
- to help people understand the many challenges refugees face coming to Australia;
- to celebrate the contribution refugees make to our community;
to focus on how the community can provide a safe and welcoming environment for refugees;
- for community groups and individuals to do something positive for refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people, within Australia but also around the world; and
- for service providers to reflect on whether they are providing the best possible services to refugees.
Refugee Week is a unique opportunity for us all to experience and celebrate the rich diversity of refugee communities through theatre, music, dance, film and other events which take place all over Australia and highlight the aims of the Week, as outlined above. Refugee Week is an umbrella participatory festival which allows a wide range of refugee community organisations, voluntary and statutory organisations, local councils, schools, student groups and faith-based organisations to host events during the week.
Refugee Week aims to provide an important opportunity for asylum seekers and refugees to be seen, listened to and valued.
In light of the lack of Federally funded income support for those on temporary visas we encourage our members and supporters to contribute to the work done by organisations providing resources and services for refugees and asylum seekers.
- Founder of the Refugee Week Initiative, the Refugee Council of Australia, is a small, not-for-profit organisation and relies on public financial support to continue its vital work in research, education and advocacy.
- Asylum Seekers Foundation
- Asylum Seekers Centre
Refugee Week hashtags - #RefugeeWeek #YearOfWelcome