Refugee Week 17 to 23 June 2018

Refugee Week

Refugee Week is Australia’s annual activity to celebrate positive contributions made by refugees and asylum seekers to Australian society and an opportunity to celebrate the rich diversity of these communities. The Refugee Week theme for 2018 is #withrefugees.

Who are refugees?

“Any person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country” (The Refugee Convention 1967).

Refugees are forced to leave their country because they are at risk of, or have experienced persecution. The concerns of refugees are human rights and safety, not economic advantage. They leave behind their homes, most or all of their belongings, family members and friends. Some are forced to flee with no warning and many have experienced significant trauma or been tortured or otherwise ill-treated. The journey to safety is fraught with hazard and many refugees risk their lives in search of protection. They cannot return unless the situation that forced them to leave improves.

An asylum seeker is a person who is seeking protection as a refugee and is still waiting to have his/her claim assessed. Every refugee has at some point been an asylum seeker.

Want to find out more about Refugee Week?

Go to the Refugee Council of Australia website

Everyone is invited to attend the following free community events during Refugee Week from 17 to 23 June

Art Without Borders – art exhibition

Friday 1 June 2018 (opening night)

7pm to 10pm

Saturday 2 June – Thursday 14 June 2018 (exhibition)

10am to 4pm

Louis Joel Arts and Community Centre

5 Sargood Street, Altona

Join the Westgate Refugee Support team to celebrate our 4th birthday at the opening night of ART WITHOUT BORDERS!

Artwork and photography by:
Gaye Boltong
Rachel King
Ellie Cameron-Krepp
Liam Taylor

Free entry, drinks and nibbles provided.

Exhibition pieces and prints will be available to purchase to raise funds for our work with refugee children from Myanmar.

If you can't join us at opening night, the exhibition runs from June 1 - June 14 at the Louis Joel Arts and Community Centre. For more information contact the centre on 9398 2511 or

Hear my voice, share my story

Monday 18 June 2018

10am to 1pm

Laverton Community Hub

95-105 Railway Avenue, Laverton

Join us in celebrating Refugee Week by hearing the voices and the stories from refugees in our community. This event features dancing, music, craft and food. The event is open to all people in Hobsons Bay.

This free event is coordinated by the Hobsons Bay Settlement Network and supported by Hobsons Bay City Council. Download flyer here.(PDF, 920KB)

Welcome Barbecue

Tuesday 19 June 2018

12pm to 1pm

Williamstown Community Education Centre

Joan Kirner House

14 Thompson Street, Williamstown

Come and enjoy a Welcome Barbecue for all. Meet with local residents of refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. Enjoy an Aussie snag while you get to know your neighbours and community.

The Power of Good People

Thursday 21 June 2018

6.30pm to 8pm

Newport Community Hub

13/15 Mason Street, Newport

Fleeing persecution in Sri Lanka, Tamil asylum seeker, Para Paheer survived a gruelling journey across the Indian Ocean, only to be detained on Christmas Island. In 2010 Alison Corke became his pen pal and life-line.

Come and hear Para’s story which is testament to the courage of refugees and pays tribute to the courageous people who help them.

This Refugee Week event also acknowledges local asylum seeker and refugee organisations who will offer information about making a difference to the lives of refugees in our own backyard.

For more information download flyer here(PDF, 541KB) or visit

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