6 June 2016 Open Your Hearts in Refugee Week

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6 June 2016 Open Your Hearts in Refugee Week

The courage of refugees who face persecution and the loss of their homes and families to start their lives again is the central focus of Refugee Week 2016, June 19-25.

Every year Refugee Week celebrates the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society, as well as raising awareness about the issues affecting refugees. 

In Coffs Harbour, the Week will be marked by a free Community Celebration at the Harry Bailey Memorial Library and Regional Gallery on Wednesday, June 22, from 5pm-8pm.

It will feature a range of inspiring stories from former refugees now living here, live music and dance performances including local band The Brothers, delicious Ethiopian food and the début screening of a local Refugee Youth short film project.

This year’s Refugee Week theme is ‘With courage let us all combine’. 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.

“Refugees become refugees because they face conflict or persecution in their countries of origin and often face discrimination, difficulty and rejection in places where they seek safety,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight.

“As a community we are proud of the way we’ve welcomed – and continue to open our arms to – people who had the courage to leave all that is familiar and step into the unknown in search of peace, the courage to keep going in the face of devastating loss and despair and the courage to begin again, to work hard and to maintain hope in a new place.

“Please come along to the celebration and show your support.”

Entry is free, but to reserve your place, please go to http://tinyurl.com/CoffsHarbourRefugeeWeek or call 6648 4900.

Donations will be gratefully accepted on behalf of the Refugee Council of Australia throughout the evening.