It's Refugee Week!
Refugee Week (15-21 June) is Australia’s peak annual activity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers and to celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees and asylum seekers to Australian society.
This year’s theme ‘restoring hope’ reminds us while a refugee’s journey begins with danger, it also begins with hope.
Refugees flee their homelands not only because they fear persecution, but also with hope to find freedom from persecution, safety and security for themselves and their families.
They hope to be given a chance to start a new life and recover from past trauma.
Personally, you can take Refugee Week as an opportunity to remind yourself and others:
- there are 45.2 million refugees and displaced people around the world
- Australia receives only a small portion of the world’s refugees and asylum seekers
- it is not illegal to seek asylum in Australia, even if arriving by boat.
It's also an opportunity to:
- acknowledge and appreciate how much richer Australia is for its diverse immigrant population
- rethink immigration policy
- stop and fully appreciate the man or woman sitting next to you at work, opposite you on the bus, behind the counter at your corner store or in front of you at the supermarket. They might have an incredible story of hardship, courage and personal strength to tell.
Of course, it's a chance to affirm, embrace and celebrate the new arrivals, new destinations and new beginnings for refugees and asylum seekers in our community.
For more information please visit the Refugee Council of Australia website.