Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Navigate Up
Sign In

Refugee Week 2017


This year Coffs Harbour City Council have partnered with a dynamic team of community members and local service providers to create an exciting program of engaging opportunities to 'put yourself in the picture'.

Refugee Week raises awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrates positive contributions made by former refugees to our community.




Freedom Feast

The Coffs Central Food Court will be transformed for one night only into a welcoming community living room where food and stories will be shared, new perspectives gained and new friendships forged.

This shared community smorgasbord of authentic home cooked multicultural food will be bursting with the rich cultural tapestry of our beautiful Coffs Harbour community.

There will be a variety of entertainment on the night including a melding of story sharing, curated discussions and community performance - all exploring different aspects of the refugee experience around the theme of freedom.

Children are most welcome to attend the celebrations with organised art activities being held throughout the evening in a dedicated break-out space.

One of the highlights of the evening will be You Can Ask That! Inspired by the ABC TVs popular series You Can't Ask That, a panel of local people from a diverse array of cultures, ages and backgrounds who have lived the refugee experience will provide answers to candid questions that have been submitted by community members. It's everything you wanted to know about refugees but weren't quite sure how to ask.

Another feature of the evening will be a moving performance by Ali Hasan.  An accomplished musician from his home country of Syria and now one of the newest members of the Coffs Harbour community, Ali is a talented musicians and master of the tanbur – a traditional Kurdish stringed instrument.

Bring a plate of food to share, perhaps show off traditional recipes from your families heritage and share in the celebrations.

Location: Coffs Central Food Court
Date: Friday 30 June 2017
Time: 6.00pm - 8.30pm
Cost: FREE but please bring a plate to share

For more information please contact Andrew Davis, Sustainable Living & Community Programs Coordinator on 02 6648 4846.

'Constance on the Edge' - FREE Film Screening

 Proudly presented by Coffs Harbour City Council, Anmesty International Coffs Coast and Coffs Connections and Community this highly acclaimed film is a unflinching and honest portrayal of a group of African Australians from refugee backgrounds attempting, often against the odds, to create a home in regional Australia. It reveals their courage and resilience as they strive to reconstruct their own lives and enrich others along the way.

Location: Bunker Cartoon Gallery, 1 John Champion Way, Coffs Harbour
Date: Friday 23 June 2017
Time: 6.00pm - 8.30pm
Cost: FREE with nibbles provided


Human Rights art exhibition - Woopi Art Gallery (open now until June 28th)

Amnesty International Coffs Coast, Coffs Connection & Community (CCC) and Woolgoolga Gallery have joined forces to put together a human rights themed art gallery. The local artists have responded, both young and old, and some very powerful and empowering pieces are on display. The message is clear - our common humanity comes before our differences, be they race, religion, life circumstances, gender, religion and so on.
So don't miss the opportunity and drop into the gallery and explore the artworks on display - from simulated prison cells to exquisite painting and evocative sculptures.
The gallery is open 7 days a week from 10 am to 4 pm and has friendly, welcoming staff to answer your questions. 

Other Council supported Ref-YOU-gee Week activities include:

Ref-YOU-gee Week School Picnic at Jetty Foreshores in the last week of school term for young people from refugee backgrounds from across local secondary and primary schools to come together, strengthen their supportive networks and have some hands-on fun including a sand sculpting competition, kite making & flying, assorted beach games and a tasty BBQ lunch.
Better Together CALD Communities Empowerment Forum – a community-driven gathering, by and for people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, to come together and discuss critical issues and build community leadership.  Wednesday 21st June, 4:30 – 6:30pm at Cavanbah Hall. For more information contact Aulfina on 0466 313 881 or email:


Refugee Week provides a platform where positive images of refugees can be promoted in order to create a culture of welcome throughout the country. The ultimate aim of the celebration is to create better understanding between different communities and to encourage successful integration enabling refugees to live in safety and to continue making a valuable contribution to Australia.

• 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.

The Refugee Council of Australia has chosen “With courage let us all combine” as the theme for Refugee Week in Australia for 2015 to 2017. Taken from the second verse of the national anthem, the theme celebrates the courage of refugees and of people who speak out against persecution and injustice. It serves as a call for unity and for positive action, encouraging Australians to improve our nation’s welcome for refugees and to acknowledge the skills and energy refugees bring to their new home.

Learn more about Refugee Week​​​