Queensland celebrates Refugee Week 2012
Saturday, 16 June 2012
Joint media release with Chris Bowen MP - Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and Senator Kate Lundy - Minister for Sport, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation.
People in Queensland will celebrate the valuable contribution of refugees to the community during Refugee Week 2012, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen, and Minister for Multicultural Affairs Senator Kate Lundy, said today.
Refugee Week is being celebrated from 17-23 June, with World Refugee Day on Wednesday, 20 June. As part of the celebrations, there will be more than 100 events across the nation in recognition of the plight of refugees and the new lives they have established in Australia.
'Australia welcomes people from many lands and has a generous humanitarian tradition,' Mr Bowen said.
'Australians can be rightly proud of the fact that Australia resettles more refugees per capita than any other nation and provides much needed protection to people who have suffered persecution.'
Senator Lundy said Australia's settlement support services are among the best in the world, helping refugees to rebuild their lives here.
'Resettlement in Australia provides a chance for refugees to enjoy all the freedom and opportunities this nation has to offer,' Senator Lundy said.
'Refugees in Australia have overcome hardship to live, study and work here, and Refugee Week is a time to reflect on the contribution they have made to our community, economy and culture.'
At 1 pm on 23 June, thousands of people across Australia, including Rockhampton, will walk in unity to celebrate the different paths people have taken to become Australian, as part of the Walk Together initiative. Each walk will finish with a festival celebrating cultural diversity.
In Brisbane, the 'Through their eyes' art exhibition will be staged at the city's Wesley House until 17 June. The exhibition is a celebration and representation of the many benefits people from a refugee background give to the city, including artistic talent.
A special citizenship ceremony will be held at 3 pm on 24 June at the Multicultural Development Association's multicultural festival in South Brisbane. Nearly 60 people from countries including Sudan, Iraq, Eritrea, China, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Thailand and Pakistan will make the pledge to become Australian citizens. The free festival will be a vibrant, family-friendly event celebrating new and emerging refugee communities across South East Queensland.
Australia's contribution to international protection and humanitarian efforts continues this year, with 13 750 places offered under the humanitarian program in 2012-13.
Australia has resettled around 775 000 refugees and other people in humanitarian need since the end of World War II.
Last update: Monday, 18 June 2012 at 10:08 AEST