Refugee Week 2022 launches this Sunday 19 June with a focus on “Healing”.
A healing that promotes harmony and togetherness in our shared common humanity.
We have recently seen the welcome return of refugee family Nadesalingam’s to their home in Biloela, a rural town in Central Queensland. Australians of all backgrounds and ages have warmly embraced their return and clearly demonstrated the power of everyday people to remain strong in their vigilance to protect the human rights of refugees and seek to heal all the hurt.
After almost 10 years of temporary protection visas (TPV’s) it is now more important than ever for communities to welcome refugees and for their permanent protection. One of our top 4 policy asks for the new government is to end temporary protection as 19,000 refugees are on TPV and Safe Haven Enterprise visas (SHEVs) have built lives in the community and strong bonds with them. There are also 1,380 people still struggling under Australia’s offshore processing policy and 30,000 people left with no safety net.
The Healing theme aims to highlight aspects of the refugee experience and engage the broader community on what it is like to be a refugee. Healing is saying also, “I’m happy you’re here.”
Healing promotes harmony and togetherness. Healing unites individuals, communities and organisations from diverse backgrounds. We move forward in unity. The theme is a powerful reminder that, regardless of our differences, we all share a humble need for acceptance and to heal.
Refugee Week sees hundreds of events taking place around the country across the month of June.
We celebrate refugees who have come to contribute to Australia with the launching of a dedicated National Ambassadors Program which include Abang from South Sudan, Nohdra from Syria, Idrissa from Sierra Leone, Assadullah from Afghanistan, Damon from Iran and others, including Rahan a Rohingya person. The Ambassdors have stepped forward to bravely share their journeys of displacement and hope. The Refugee Council of Australia offers opportunities of training to our Refugee Ambassadors and speakers every year including a media training and a 2-day training on the power or storytelling as a tool for advocacy.
We believe that storytelling is a way to heal our communities using one of the most ancient traditions from our culture. If I can use my story to benefit my community, then I will have fulfilled my responsibility as a refugee ambassador –Samah Shda, Refugee Week Ambassador.
Refugee Week is organised by the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), Australia’s peak national body for refugees and people seeking asylum and the organisations that serve them.
RCOA Deputy CEO Adama Kamara said, “this could be Australia’s best Refugee Week yet, despite the difficult circumstances.”
The Refugee Council of Australia is also extremely grateful to our other sponsors who have already committed to supporting Refugee Week. We also thank and acknowledge the great collaboration we have with over 190 organisational members, organisations that support and work with refugees and people seeking asylum.
Please contact Will Martin on 0488 035 535 for more information or to line up interviews or comment with Refugee Ambassadors.