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Every year millions of people are forced to flee their homes in search of safety. Refugee Week is Australia’s peak annual activity to inform the public about refugees and celebrate positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.
Refugee Week in Australia is always held from Sunday to Saturday in the week which includes 20 June, which is World Refugee Day. In 2022, it will be held from Sunday 19 June to Saturday 25 June.
The first Refugee Week events were organised in Sydney in 1986 by Austcare. In 1987, Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) became a co-organiser of the week, and the occasion became a national event the following year. RCOA took on responsibility for the national coordination of Refugee Week from 2004.
- The key element of healing for refugees is “resilience”
- In the past decade, the number of people displaced from their homes has doubled, from 41 million to 82.4 million. According to the Red Cross, 1 in 95 people are now forcibly displaced, an increase from 1 in 159 in 2010
- RCOA is encouraging the Australian government to increase the annual intake of refugees under its Humanitarian Program
Adama Kamara, RCOA’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, says one of the aims of Refugee Week is to celebrate the positive contributions refugees make to Australian society.
“It’s really an opportunity to provide positive images of refugee communities across Australia and their contributions. Also, for communities to think about how they can welcome refugees into their community and how they can make their community safe for refugees. The overall aim is for us to have a better understanding between refugee communities and non-refugee communities…and be more welcoming of each other.”
The theme of Refugee Week 2022 is Healing.