May 9 2016
Refugee Week Bulletin
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Refugee Week 19-25 June 2016 

Welcome to the first 2016 Refugee Week Bulletin.  Every week from now until Refugee Week, we will be giving you updates about events, ambassadors, resources and much more. We encourage you to get involved and to send us information about what you will be up to during Refugee Week so that we can promote it for you. You may even see your event featured in the next bulletin!
Refugee Week, coordinated by the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), is Australia's peak annual activity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and to celebrate the positive contributions that they make to Australian society.
This year, Refugee Week will be celebrated from Sunday, 19 June to Saturday, 25 June, which includes World Refugee Day on June 20. The theme is “With courage let us all combine”, which is taken from the second verse of the national anthem and celebrates the courage of refugees and of people who speak out against persecution and injustice. It serves as a call for unity and positive action, encouraging Australians to improve our nation’s welcome for refugees and acknowledging the skills and energy that refugees bring to their new home.

Refugee Week 2016 Poster

The Butler Falcons are a wonderful multicultural girls AFL team based in Perth, WA. We are so excited to share with you our 2016 Refugee Week poster. featuring just three of this wonderful representation of young, active women,  who are contributing to our community. This year's poster features Aker Athoi, Monica Yengi and Sandra Paul. The Butler Falcons are once again Refugee Week Ambassadors for 2016. 

As always, our posters are free and available nationally. Stay tuned for details of poster collection points - and if you would like to order your copies email: . 

2016 Launch Events

Our Sydney event will take place on 17th June from 10am-12pm. The event will take place at Ultimo TAFE  and will feature a Q&A panel session and some fantastic performances.  

Our Melbourne launch will take place on 19th June at Federation Square and will feature music, dancing, performances and speeches. 

Both events are free and open to all to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!

Host a Screening of 'Freedom Stories'

The remarkable documentary 'Freedom Stories' tells the heartening stories of people who arrived in Australia seeking asylum around 2001. This landmark feature documentary charts the challenges and successes of finding safety in Australia, and building a new life, while dealing with the feelings conjured up by what has been left behind.

The producers of Freedom Stories have offered a limited number of educational copies of Freedom Stories to be featured in Refugee Week events. If you would like to host an event in your school, community organisation, library, town hall or local theatre, sign up here and we will send you the information you need to host your very own screening of Freedom Stories. Host a screening of Freedom Stories and help all Australians better understand the great resilience and contributions of refugees.

Refugee Week 2016 Ambassadors

Refugee Week Ambassadors are inspiring individuals who are either from a refugee background or who have an interest in and understanding of refugee and migrant issues in Australia. Their role as Ambassador is to celebrate and humanise the contribution of refugees. For the full list of Refugee Week ambassadors see here. If you would like to contact any of the Refugee Week Ambassadors regarding a media inquiry or to speak at your event, please contact 

Meet the Ambassador:
Nga 'Nahji' Chu

Nahji Chu was born into a a middle class Vietnamese family in the northern Laotian city of Luang Prabang. Along with her parents and five brothers and sisters they were forced to flee their comfortable, idyllic life after the Communist Pathet Lao Government started targeting the bourgeoisie.

The family arrived in Australia as refugees, and Nahji eventually founded a successful chain of restaurants called Miss Chu's. Read more about the Amazing Ms Chu here or listen to her tell her remarkable story on ABC's Life Matters.

Meet the Ambassador:
Reverend Dr John Jegasothy

After his infant son Edward's life was threatened by fighting outside their home, Reverend Dr John Jegasothy fled his Sri Lankan homeland in 1986.He and his wife and children moved to Parkes in rural NSW, and eventually to Sydney, where he's now the minister of the Rose Bay-Vaucluse Uniting Church.

He now works tirelessly helping refugees, including people from his own Tamil community.

Download the Refugee Week Resource Pack
Host Freedom Stories screening
Remember Refugee Week 2015

Refugee Council of Australia mailing address is:
Suite 4A6, 410 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, NSW, 2010

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Copyright © 2016, Refugee Council of Australia, All rights reserved. Since 1986 Australia has celebrated Refugee Week recognising the contribution of refugees and people seeking asylum, and coordinated by the Refugee Council of Australia.