Refugee Week Events in South Australia

During the Refugee Week,  there are numerous activities organised to celebrate the courage, resilience, strength and contributions of the people of refugee background.

Forum on parenting issues and child protection: Friday 14 June, Adelaide

Guest speaker from Families SA and participants from various African communities. Coordinated by SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 1.00pm-3.00pm; Migrant Resource Centre of South Australia basement, 59 King William Street, Adelaide. Contact 08 8217 9520 or

 Cultural night in the Riverland: Saturday 15 June, Renmark

A night of music, food and festivity celebrating the wonderful contribution of refugee communities to the Riverland and Australia. Coordinated by SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 5.00pm-9.00pm; Renmark Institute, 54 Ral Ral Avenue, Renmark. Contact Danyon De Buell on 0409 102 195 or


Refugees and Australia 1972-2012: Sunday 16 June to Saturday 22 June, Adelaide

Exhibition tracing Australia’s responses to refugees and asylum seekers over the last forty years. Coordinated by the SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 10.00am-5.00pm; Migration Museum, 82 Kintore Avenue, Adelaide. Contact Mandy Paul on 0447 203 859 and


Taking Action: Sunday 16 June, Adelaide

Refugees and Australia 1972-2012 exhibition. Hear from community organisations about support for refugees. Includes afternoon tea. Coordinated by SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 2.00pm-4.00pm; Migration Museum, 82 Kintore Avenue, Adelaide. Contact Allison Russell on 08 8203 9891 or 0416 139 848.

 Volleyball Tournament: Sunday 16 June, Adelaide

Volleyball tournament between Middle Eastern community members and broader clubs. Coordinated by SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 3.00pm-5.00pm; Christian Brothers College, 214 Wakefield Street, Adelaide. Contact Hussain Razaiat on 08 8217 9523 or

 Information Display for Refugee Week: Monday 17 June to Friday 21 June (closed Wednesday), Adelaide

Display and information about Refugee Week and the services supporting refugees in South Australia. Coordinated by SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 10.00am-4.00pm; Ground Floor, 81-97 Grenfell Street, Adelaide. Contact Shannon Peake on 08 8303 0590 or


Images of Hope – an Exhibition from the ELS Community: Monday 17 June to Friday 21 June, Adelaide

Paintings, photos, video clips and drawings, lunchtime performances by musicians and dancers. Coordinated by SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 9.00am-4.00pm; Anne Beaumont Library, Level 4, 127 Rundle Mall, Adelaide. Contact Margaret Gunn on 08 8226 6765 or

Launch of SA Refugee Week: Monday 17 June, Adelaide

Includes Migrant Resource Centre of SA 30th anniversary publication by His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR, Governor of South Australia and launch of the Youth Poster Exhibition and Awards by the Hon. Jennifer Rankine, MP, Minister for Education and Child Development and Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Coordinated by SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 2.30pm-4.00pm; Kerry Packer Civic Gallery at the Hawke Centre, University of SA, City West Campus, Hawke Building, Level 3, 50-60 North Terrace, Adelaide. Contact Matti Spellacy on 08 8217 9510 or

Restoring Hope: Tuesday 18 June, Noarlunga Centre

An opportunity to hear the stories from people of refugee backgrounds, followed by lunch. Coordinated by SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 10.30am; Hopgood Theatre, Ramsay Place, Noarlunga Centre. Contact Briony Gorton on 08 8384 0697 or

Sharing the Journey: Tuesday 18 June and Thursday 20 June, Adelaide

Speakers will share their experiences with TAFE students. Coordinated by SA Refugee Committee.

Details: 9.30am-12.30pm; Adelaide City TAFESA Campus, 120 Currie Street, Adelaide. Contact Pam Wright on 08 8207 8481 or

Have fun, learn and understand one another: Tuesday 18 June, Adelaide

Enjoy entertainment and share cultural foods and stories by refugees. Tour Parliament House with Ms Rachel Sanderson MP, Member for Adelaide. Coordinated by the SA Refugee Committee.

Details: 11.00am-3.00pm; Muslim Women’s Association of SA, Level 4, 182 Victoria Square, Adelaide. Contact Shaista Kalaniya on 08 8212 0800 or

Stories of Hope – FUSE mentoring: Tuesday 18 June, Adelaide

Hear inspiring stories of hope from volunteers and refugees involved in the Fuse Mentoring Program. Coordinated by the SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 7.00pm-8.30pm; Box Factory Community Centre, 59 Regent Street South, Adelaide . Contact Bryan Hughes on 0466 776 501 or

A Refugee’s Journey: Tuesday, 18 June, Marion

John Mugabushka from Legal Services SA will share the experiences of African refugees prior to arrival in Australia as well as the challenges as they adapt to a new life in Australia.

Details: 1.30pm-3.30pm; Cooinda Neighbourhood Centre, 245 Sturt Road, Marion. Contact Melanie Kazerani on 08 8375 6704 or

Friendship Cup: Wednesday 19 June, Athelstone

Enjoy a friendly soccer match between Adelaide Secondary School of English students and St Ignatius students. Coordinated by the SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 1.00pm-2.00pm; Saint Ignatius College, 2 Manresa Court, Athelstone. Contact Kouv Chang on 0417 850 814 or

Festival of Languages: Thursday 20 June, Torrensville

Students and staff will share with each other their languages and cultures through interactive workshops, singing and dancing. Coordinated by the SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 10.30am-1.00pm; Thebarton Senior College Gymnasium, Ashley Street, Torrensville. Contact Eva Kannis-Troy on 08 8352 5811 or

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Thursday 20 June, Naracoorte

Documentary about an Afghani family’s decision to become “boat people”. Coordinated by SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 7.00pm; Naracoorte Town Hall, Smith Street, Naracoorte. Contact Julie Burdett on 0409 103 153 or

How the Legal Services Commission can help refugees: Friday 21 June, Adelaide

Information session for service providers covering services offered and an overview of visa options (family reunion) and appeal processes. Coordinated by the SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 10.00am-11.00am; Main Conference Room, Legal Services Commission of SA, 82-98 Wakefield Street, Adelaide. Contact Juliet Badics on 08 8463 3652 or

Singing as One Voice: Friday 21 June, Elizabeth

An opportunity for cultural exchange and appreciation: music performance and workshops, food and a chance to meet others. Coordinated by the SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 10.00am-2.00pm; Holy Cross Anglican Church, 93 Elizabeth Way, Elizabeth. Contact Cristina Descalzi on 0429 588 131 or

Australian Refugee Association Oration: Friday 21 June, Adelaide

Jon Jureidini, a child psychologist at the Womens and Children’s Hospital, presents on the topic “To be a decent citizen”. Coordinated by SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 7.00pm; Elder Hall, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide. Contact Peter Laintoll on 08 8354 2951 or

Afghan World Music Concert: Friday 21 June, Prospect

A blend of Afghan, Indian and world music sounds celebrating the traditional sounds of Afghanistan. Coordinated by SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 7.30pm; Prospect Town Hall (Guthries), 126 Prospect Road, Prospect. Contact Feroz Ansari on 0402 540 433 or

Refugee Week Community Football Festival: Saturday 22 June, Elizabeth Downs

Football United is staging a community event with a barbecue, music, games and a football tournament between community members and University of South Australia members.

Details: 12.00pm-4.00pm; Uley Oval, Elizabeth Downs RSVP to Joanna Bouyesi on 08 8302 1186 or Details at

Walk Together Adelaide: Saturday 22 June, Adelaide

South Australians will Walk Together in recognition that if we’re all people, we’re all equal. Following the walk, there will be a Welcome Picnic showcasing food, drinks, guest speakers and entertainment. Pack a picnic rug and celebrate our diversity.

Details: 1.00pm; Meet on North Terrace in front of Parliament House for walk to Rundle Park (corner Rundle Street and East Terrace). More details at

Walk Together Port Augusta: Saturday 22 June, Port Augusta

Walk Together celebrates diversity and presents a picture to our leaders and media of the Australia that is possible – an Australia that recognises in its public debate, media and laws that “if we’re all people, we’re all equal”. After the walk, enjoy a barbecue, food, performances by local musicians and stories.

Details: 12.30pm; Meet at the Foreshore, Port Augusta Details at

Celebrating Women and Community: Saturday 22 June, Adelaide

Women from the Iraqi community share their stories and a barbecue. Coordinated by the SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 11.00am-4.00pm; Rymill Park, East Terrace, Adelaide. Contact Fatin Shabbar on 0423 322 408 .

Open Day at Limestone Coast Migrant Resource Centre: Saturday 22 June, Mount Gambier

Enjoy traditional food, arts and crafts and performances. Coordinated by SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 11.00am-2.00pm; Mount Gambier Migrant Community Centre, 11 Eleanor Street, Mount Gambier. Contact Fernanda Ikeda on 08 8725 2753 or

Harmony Day Soccer match: Saturday 22 June, Modbury

Join in the action and be part of our friendly Harmony Day soccer match. Coordinated by the SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 12.00pm-3.30pm; Civic Park Modbury, North East Road, Modbury. Contact Cathy O’Loughlin on 08 8426 9800 or

Murray Bridge Annual All Cultural Festival: Saturday 22 June, Murray Bridge

A celebration of cultural performances in music and dance. Coordinated by the SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 1.30pm-3.30pm; Murray Bridge Town Hall, Bridge Street, Murray Bridge. Contact Dr Tom Haig on 08 8532 3922 (Tuesday or Thursday only) or

Healing Prayer Session for the DR of Congo: Saturday 22 June, Adelaide

Songs for healing and the liberation of DR Congo. Coordinated by the SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 2.00pm-4.00pm; Migrant Resource Centre of SA Community Centre, 23 Coglin Street, Adelaide. Contact Rukukuye Mastaky on 0402 015 189 or

Candelight Service: Sunday 23 June, Brahma Lodge

The Burmese community remember their loved ones in refugee camps around the world and pray for peace and awareness in the global community. Coordinated by the SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 2.45pm; Salisbury Baptist Church, Main Hall, 195 Park Terrace, Brahma Lodge. Contact Simon Cinzah on 9492 755 622 or

Cultures of the World: Sunday 23 June, Woodville

Enjoy an extravaganza of performing arts. Coordinated by the SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 3.00pm; Woodville Town Hall, 72 Woodville Road, Woodville. Contact 08 8408 1111 or

“Welcome to Adelaide! Be kher ben!”: Sunday 23 June, Adelaide

Kurdish refugees are warmly invited to bring their families to enjoy a special “welcome” afternoon tea to connect with the Adelaide Kurdish community.

Details: 2.30pm-5.00pm; Migrant Resource Centre of SA Community Centre, 23 Coglin Street, Adelaide. Contact Melissa Miller on 0478 818 816 or

“I Call Australia Home”: Monday 24 June, Salisbury

Hear members speak about their experiences of setting up home in Australia. Coordinated by the SA Refugee Week Committee.

Details: 1.00pm-3.00pm; NAMRC, 28 Mary Street, Salisbury. Contact Reagan Bledee on 08 8283 0844 or



Who are the refugees?

A Syrian girl refugee ( Image source:

Until 1951 there was no commonly accepted term for people fleeing persecution. People who fled their country were known as stateless people, migrants or refugees. Different countries treated these people in different ways. Following the mass migrations caused by the Second World War (particularly in Europe) it was decided that there needed to be a common understanding of which people needed protection and how they should be protected.

The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol (commonly known as the Refugee Convention), to which Australia is a signatory, defines a refugee as:
Any person who owing to a well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country.

The important parts of this definition are:

  • The person has to be outside their country of origin
  • The reason for their flight has to be a fear of persecution
  • This fear of persecution has to be well founded (i.e. they must have experienced it or be likely to experience it if they return)
  • The persecution has to result from one or more of the five grounds listed in the definition
  • They have to be unwilling or unable to seek the protection of their country

 Source: Refugee Council of Australia-

 Statistics at a glance

For more statistics, visit the Refugee Council of Australia website:

  • There were 42.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide at the end of 2011. This figure includes 15.2 million refugees, 895,000 asylum seekers and 26.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs).
  • Of the global total of uprooted people, UNHCR cares for 25.9 million, including 10.4 million refugees and a15.5 million IDPs.
  • Developing countries are host to 80%, of the refugee population. The 48 Least Developed Countries provided asylum to almost 2.3 million refugees. More than 4.7 million refugees, representing 45 per cent of the world’s refugees, resided in countries whose GDP per capital was below USD $3,000.
  • Three-quarters of the world’s refugees resided in countries neighbouring their country of origin.
  • By the end of 2011 an estimated 7.1 million refugees were living in one of 26 protracted refugee situations worldwide. UNHCR defines a protracted situation as one in which 25,000 or more refugees of the same nationality have been in exile for five years or longer in any given asylum country.
  • The three major refugee hosting countries in 2011 were: Pakistan (1.7 million), followed by Iran (887,000) and Syria (755,400; Government estimate).
  • Pakistan hosted the largest number of refugees in relation to the size of its economy with 605 refugees per 1 USD DGP (PPP) per capita. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (399) and Kenya (321) were second and third respectively.
  • Afghanistan is the leading country of origin of refugees in 2011 with close to 2.7 million refugees in 79 countries. On overage, one out of four refugees in teh world originated from Afghanistan with 95 per cent of them located in Pakistan and Iran.
  • During 2011, there were more than 876,100 individual applications for asylum or refugee status submitted. South Africa received them most applications with close to 107,000 claims registered in 2011, accounting for almost one-tenth of applications globally, followed by the United States of America (76,000) and France (52,100).
  • By the end of 2011 women and girls made up 49% of refugees and asylum seekers. They constituted half of all IDP’s and returnees (former refugees).
  • Forty-six (46) per cent of refugees and 34 per cent of asylum seekers are children below 18 years of age.
  • More than 17,700 asylum applications were lodged by unaccompanied or separated children in 69 countries in 2011. The applications came mostly from Afghan and Somali children.

Refugee Week ( 16-22 June)

Next week, from Sunday 16 June to Saturday 22 June, we are celebrating Refugee Week, which is Australia’s peak annual activity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.

Refugee Week is always held from Sunday to Saturday of the week, which includes the World Refugee Day on June 20.

The theme for Refugee Week from 2012 to 2014 is Restoring Hope.

There will be a number of activities organized in South Australia. Please see next post.


Holy Family Reads Together

A few weeks ago, the EAL team held an information session for parents- Holy Family Reads Together. The purpose of the session was to provide parents with strategies to help their children when listening to them read.

Adla Mattiske highlighted the importance of book orientation, looking and discussing the pictures before reading a book. Parents were given suggested prompts they can use when their children get stuck on a word.

Using pictures as cues is a really important reading strategy. So is waiting while your child has a go at unknown words.

The information session was well attended and we hope to hold more in the future.

It’s never too early or too late to start reading together!

Good books to share:

Mem Fox: Where is the Green Sheep?

Sue Wright: I went walking

Michael Rosen: We’re going on a Bear Hunt 

Eric Hill: Where’s Spot 

Jack and the Beanstalk

The Gingerbread Man

Pamela Allen:

  • Herbert and Harry 
  • The Pear in the Pear Tree 
  • The Potato People 
  • Who Sank the Boat?

Bill Martin: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?

Marcia Vaughan: Wombat Stew

Dr Seuss:

  • Cat in the Hat
  • Green Eggs and Ham

Eric Carle:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar 

From Head to Toe


During the same session,  Magdalena Moise talked about the importance of maintaining the home language. She highlighted the benefits of bilingualism and  multilingualism. More on this topic on a separate post.