Refugee Week 2012
Refugee Week 2012 was held between Sunday 16 June and Saturday 22 June. In 2012, the event was celebrated with a new theme Restoring Hope. Events included breakfasts, soccer tournaments, public forums, morning teas, book fairs, flashmobs, film festivals and Welcome to Australia’s “Walk Together” initiative. Major launches were held in Sydney and Melbourne, with keynote speakers including former refugee from Afghanistan Nooria Wazefadost, RCOA CEO Paul Power and a question and answer session with Melbourne Heart A-League player Golgol Mebrahtu and young people of refugee background.
The Principal Sponsors were the Victorian Multicultural Commission and the Network of Caring. City of Sydney Council was a major sponsor. Other sponsors were AMES, Navitas English, the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, NSW AMES and Leichhardt Municipal Council.
Refugee Week 2011
Refugee Week 2011 was held from Sunday 17 June to Saturday 23 June, continuing with the theme "Freedom from Fear". Major launches took place in Sydney and Melbourne. The Sydney launch was conducted in partnership with STARTS and featured the Dario Palermo Refugee Art Exhibition, the presentation of 2011 Refugee Humanitarian Awards, and a screening of the Australian Refugee Film Festival. The keynote speakers were Yalda Hakim (MC), Ellen Hansen and Gracia Ngoy. In Melbourne, the launch was addressed by the John Gibson, Majak Daw (North Melbourne AFL footy player), Najeeba Wazefadost (former refugee), and Carina Hoang (former refugee and editor of the new book "Boat People”).
Refugee Week continues to grow, with more than 220 local events taking place across Australia in 2011. With the support of the NSW Community Relations Commission, the Refugee Council provided small grants to a dozen community organizations conducting events during Refugee Week.
The Principal Sponsor for Refugee Week 2011 was the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Major Sponsors were AMES Victoria and the NSW Community Relations Commission. Other sponsors were the City of Sydney, AMES NSW, ACL, Leichhardt Council and Mallesons Stephen Jaques.
Refugee Week 2010
Refugee Week 2010 was held from Sunday 19 June to Saturday 26 June, focusing on the theme "Freedom from Fear". Major launches took place in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, with keynote speakers including former Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, NSW Minister for Citizenship, John Hatzistergos, and SA Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Grace Portolesi.
With more than 190 local events taking place across Australia, 2010 was the most successful celebration to date. Events included festivals, film and documentary screenings, music, dance, theatre, art and photographic exhibitions, sporting events, personal stories and speeches, public seminars, information and training sessions, rallies, book launches, a prayer vigil, tree planting, fund raising events and even river and harbour cruises.
The Principal Sponsor for Refugee Week 2010 was the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Major Sponsors were AMES Victoria and the NSW Community Relations Commission. Other sponsors were the City of Sydney, AMES NSW, ACL, Leichhardt Council and Mallesons Stephen Jaques.
Refugee Week 2009
Refugee Week 2009 was held from Sunday 14 June to Saturday 20 June, focusing on the theme “Freedom from Fear”. Major launches were held in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane and more than 160 local events took place, including community celebrations, arts events, seminars, information expos, sporting events, film screenings and competitions.
At the NSW launch of Refugee Week 2009, speakers included John Gibson, president of RCOA, and Yasmeen Fatimah, a member of the Rohingya community in Sydney. Their speeches can be found on our Speeches page.
Major sponsors for Refugee Week 2009 were the Victorian Multicultural Commission and AMES Victoria. NSW sponsors of Refugee Week who offered financial and in-kind support included the NSW Community Relations Commission, ACL, AMES NSW, Leichhardt Council and City of Sydney.
Refugee Week 2008
In 2008, Refugee Week was held from June 15 to 21, focusing on the theme “A Place to Call Home”. Major launches were held in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane and more than 140 local events took place, including community celebrations, arts events, seminars, information expos, sporting events, film screenings and competitions. The guest speaker at the Sydney launch was Les Murray, SBS-TV football broadcaster and former refugee from Hungary. Les, who came to Australia as an 11-year-old boy, spoke of his personal experiences and of the contribution of refugees to national life. To read his speech, click here.
The theme “A Place to Call Home” aimed to encourage people to think about the global themes of protection and human rights by focusing on the fundamental right to a secure place to call home. It provoked thought about our common obligations to people who have no secure home, and also acknowledged the 700,000 refugees and humanitarian migrants over the past 60 years who have made Australia their home.
Major sponsors for Refugee Week 2008 were Victorian Multicultural Commission and AMES Victoria. NSW sponsors of Refugee Week who offered financial and in-kind support included the NSW Community Relations Commission, ACL, AMES NSW, Leichhardt Council and Mallesons Stephen Jacques.
Refugee Week 2007
Refugee Week 2007 was held from June 17 to 23. The theme of Refugee Week 2007 was “The Voices of Young Refugees”. More than 130 events were held around Australia. The theme focused attention on the contribution, ideas and concerns of refugee children, teenagers and young adults.
Refugee Week 2006
In 2006, Refugee Week was held from 22 to 28 October. The 2006 theme was “Journeys”. In NSW, Refugee Week was launched by the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Councillor Clover Moore MP. To read her address, click here. In Victoria, the keynote speaker at the launch of 2006 Refugee Week was Julian Burnside QC. To read his address, click here.