Refugee Week

Refugee Week is Australia’s peak annual activity to inform the public about refugees and celebrate positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society. The first Refugee Week events were organised in Sydney in 1986 by Austcare.

The aims of Refugee Week are:

  • to educate the Australian public about who refugees are and why they have come to Australia;
  • to help people understand the many challenges refugees face coming to Australia;
  • to celebrate the contribution refugees make to our community;
  • to focus on how the community can provide a safe and welcoming environment for refugees;
  • for community groups and individuals to do something positive for refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people, within Australia but also around the world; and
  • for service providers to reflect on whether they are providing the best possible services to refugees.


It’s close to sundown and the birdsong reaches an end-of-day crescendo as a small group of people carrying hoes and rakes drift among the garden beds pushing and prodding as they tend the crops.  The tranquillity is palpable as the gardeners expertly pull out uninvited weeds – and harvest plump tomatoes and fiery chillies along with strange looking greens and gourd-like vegetables.  Read more.

For Refugee Week 2020, CMY (Centre for Multicultural Youth) Ballarat, Horham and Nhill were extremely lucky to have some young Australians with refugee backgrounds share their story.  Thablay Khinshwe reflects on her experiences- from being in a refugee camp as a child, to settling in the country town of Nhill, and finding her place in it all.  Thank you Thablay for sharing your incredible jouney with us this week.

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Ballarat resident Mary Bukjiok says the support she has received from community groups and kind individuals had helped her live happily in the town, after migrating from South Sudan fifteen years ago. Read more.


Celebrations, information and events around the nation for Refugee Week can be viewed here. 

Refugee Week Program in Ballarat

Mildura Rural City Council 

Mildura Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council 

Warrnambool Rural Australians for Refugees

Information from ACBC Office for Social Justice can be read here.