Sydneysiders will warmly welcome refugees and asylum seekers in June 2017, with the City of Sydney hosting a range of events and celebrations to mark Refugee Week.
Refugee Week’s state-wide celebrations kick off at Paddington Town Hall on Friday 16 June 2017, with an event featuring inspirational stories from refugees, live music and performance, and the presentation of the NSW Humanitarian Awards.
“People whose lives are threatened by terror, war and starvation should be able to seek a better life – and be looked after when they do,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“Sydney has been a Refugee Welcome Zone for more than a decade and we’re proud to support Refugee Week because we are committed to ensuring people seeking asylum are offered safety and support, and are warmly welcomed into our community.
“Refugee Week is a great time for all of us to come together as a city that welcomes the world and supports justice for all, especially for the marginalised and powerless.
“Refugee Week will continue to be an important annual event until our federal representatives recognise Australians want to welcome refugees, rather than callously closing the door on anyone who dares seek a life free from terror, poverty, famine or persecution.”
Together with the Asylum Seekers Centre, the City will also host a special event at Lower Town Hall on Wednesday 21 June 2017.
‘Welcome! Respect! Unity!’ brings together inspiring individuals to share their personal accounts of seeking asylum or supporting refugees in Australia.
Orthopaedic surgeon, author and human rights activist, Professor Al Muderis, will share how he fled Iraq after refusing to mutilate the ears of army deserters. He will also speak about the contribution he and fellow refugees have made in Australia and in his profession.
“Everybody who gets on a leaky boat is taking a huge gamble – they’re putting their life on the line,” Dr Al Muderis said.
“Out of 1,252 people who were with me in Curtin Detention Centre, 13 were doctors and 12 of those are now practising as specialists in Australia.”
Source: City of Sydney