How to support refugees during Refugee Week and beyond

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Photo: The Family By Tim Bauer, from We Bleed the Same: An Exhibition Exploring Racism and Diversity

Photo: The Family By Tim Bauer, from We Bleed the Same: An Exhibition Exploring Racism and Diversity

Published 15 May 2023

During Refugee Week, we honour refugees in Australia and around the globe. This year, Refugee Week will be held from Sunday 18 June to Saturday 24 June 2023. The week also includes World Refugee Day, which falls each year on 20 June and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution.

Refugee Week is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for the plight of refugees and to recognise their resilience in rebuilding their lives. We ackowledge the contribution refugees make to our community and focus on how the community can provide a safe and welcoming environment for refugees.

The theme for Refugee Week 2023 is Finding Freedom. We celebrate the journey of finding freedom, whether it be through a new home, a new career, finding love or friendships. For freedom should not be an ask, it should be a way of life.

Refugee week -main

We Bleed the Same: An Exhibition Exploring Racism and Diversity

This powerful photographic exhibition provides an account of racism in Australia, as experienced through the eyes of First Nations people, immigrants and refugees.

Proudly presented in partnership with Freilich Project (ANU), "We Bleed The Same" is an anti-racism exhibition and documentary by creator and producer Liz Deep-Jones, photographer Tim Bauer and Art Director, Brenda Dwyer.

"We Bleed The Same, is about you, me and humanity, sharing stories of experiences with racism in Australia and championing human rights, featuring extraordinary Australians, including a Holocaust survivor, Stolen Generation survivor, Former Child Soldier, rock star, Former Socceroo, Refugee and First Nations activist." says Liz Deep-Jones.

The exhibition also celebrates diversity in a photographic Kizuna installation consisting of images of people from across Australia. Locals are invited to send in their photos and be included in the exhibition.

10 - 25 June 2023,  Woollahra Library, 451 New South Head Road, Double Bay
More information.

we all bleed exhibition
Photos by Tim Bauer: Uncle Widdy (left) Leetona Dungay (right)

Get Involved

There are a number of organisations which assist refugees and would welcome volunteers or contributions from our local community. Please feel free to reach out to these organisations if you would like to get involved in any way.

Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia (CRISP)

Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia has a new pilot program Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot (CRISP) allowing community members to sponsor refugees. The CRISP program provides a way for communities to show the government that there is deep support for refugees, and that a program like this can work. In Canada over 300,000 people have settled under a similar scheme. If you are interested in learning more and the role that you can play, read more via the Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia website.

https://refugeesponsorship.org.au/what-we-do/crisp/

Settlement Services International (SSI)

SSI is a community organisation and social business that supports newcomers and other Australians to achieve their full potential. For refugee and humanitarian entrants, the SSP builds upon the foundation services provided by the Humanitarian Settlement Program, by delivering settlement services that assist eligible clients to become fully-functioning members of society. As a consequence, the program promotes social cohesion and productive diversity within the Australian community. You can be a Volunteer in the ‘Welcome Program’, which aims to encourage inclusiveness and strengthen a sense of belonging by engaging Volunteer Ambassadors (residents) to engage in community activities of welcoming refugees/new arrivals. The Program helps refugees/new arrivals to feel welcome and more connected, establish relationships and boost their self-confidence to access and participate in what Sydney can offer. It will also assist the broader Sydney community to increase their understanding of the humanitarian program and refugee needs as well as offer a unique opportunity to engage in an intercultural experience to learn from, and about each other.

https://www.ssi.org.au/services/newcomers-refugees-and-migrants/refugee-support-services

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA)

The Refugee Council of Australia advocates on issues relating to refugee protection at both a national and international level. Issues identified in our annual community consultations often relate to concerns that refugee and humanitarian entrants in Australia have about people they are connected to living in precarious situations in other parts of the world. RCOA works alongside refugee communities and advocates to ensure we hold true to our commitment to be led by people with lived experience in all our advocacy.

Face-to-Face Program: The program sees ambassadors from a refugee background and a representative of RCOA deliver presentations tailored for primary and secondary students, teachers, and community groups with a passion for learning about refugees and social justice.

https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au

The Asylum Seekers Centre (ASC)

The Asylum Seekers Centre is a place of welcome and provides practical and personal support for people living in the community who are seeking asylum. You can get involved as a donor, a volunteer or supporter, your time and resources will help people seeking asylum with food, housing, health, employment and making connections in the community. Many volunteers take on roles aligned with their careers. HR specialists assist our employment hub, accountants support our finance and philanthropy teams, and photographers work with our communications team. As a not-for-profit organisation, they rely on the expertise of these volunteers, who often squeeze volunteering time in after work or between shifts.

https://asylumseekerscentre.org.au/how-you-can-help/

House of Welcome

House of Welcome is a project of St Francis Social Services The House of Welcome exists to welcome, shelter and empower people seeking asylum and refugees regardless of their age, gender, sexuality, nationality or religion.  We provide client-centred holistic supports that nurture hope, advocate for justice and promote self-reliance, whilst acknowledging the dignity and the rights of each individual.‚Äč

http://www.houseofwelcome.org.au/house-of-welcome/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities-form

Jesuit Refugee Service Australia

At our main Community Space in Sydney, JRS Australia hosts community programs that foster a sense of belonging, agency and welcome such as playgroup, English classes, a community garden, employment programs, community lunches and many other activities. St Mary Magdalene Church in Rose Bay also support the cause during the Jesuit Refugee Lenten Appeal.

https://aus.jrs.net/en/take-action/

The Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS)

The Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS) is a strong, independent public voice for the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum. We assist people of all nationalities, religions, and sexual and gender identities For more than 35 years, thousands of courageous people from all corners of the world have walked through our doors. They have been welcomed and supported by hundreds of committed staff, passionate legal students and thousands of volunteers. Many of these refugees now live happy, safe and secure lives alongside us, as part of our communities. Volunteers are crucial to the work at RACS. From conducting important legal research, to raising RACS’ profile on digital platforms - we rely on volunteers to assist in our fight to defend the rights of people seeking asylum. Opportunities are available in the following areas: Legal - for law students, PLTs and solicitors registered with OMARA, Social media coordinator, Graphic Designer, Videographer, Photographer, Google Analytics officer/specialist, Office administration & support, Interpreting and more.

https://www.racs.org.au

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