In 2020 Refugee Week is being celebrated from Sunday, 14 June, to Saturday, 20 June. Originally celebrated in 1986, Refugee Week coincides with World Refugee Day, celebrated on 20 June. Refugee Week is Australia’s peak annual activity to raise awareness about issues affecting refugees, to celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society, to educate the Australian public about who refugees are and why they have come to Australia and to help people understand the many challenges refugees face coming to Australia. Refugee Week provides a platform where positive images of refugees can be promoted in order to create a culture of welcome throughout the country. It is a unique opportunity for us to experience and celebrate the rich diversity of refugee communities. Although this year many events are affected due to COVID-19, valuable sessions are still going ahead online to mark Refugee Week.
People who have come as refugees have been successful in their various fields. By definition refugees are survivors. They have survived because of their courage, ingenuity and creativity, and these are the qualities which we value in Australia. My area of Western Metropolitan Region is one of the most diverse regions and is also home to many migrants arriving in Australia as refugees. As we support refugees to recover from their persecution and rebuild their lives in Australia, Australia reaps the benefits of having them here.