This year saw a new approach to ARA’s annual Refugee Week Oration with a panel of four outstanding young women from African and/or Muslim backgrounds speaking about what life is like behind the headlines, growing up in Australia as African and/or Muslim Australians, and ‘what we can learn about becoming a truly civil society’.
The oration is ARA’s major celebration of Refugee Week and was held at UniSA’s Hawke Centre, 55 North Tce, Adelaide on Thursday 20 June at 6.30 pm.
ARA CEO, Deb Stringer believes now is the time for a new approach to the way refugees are valued in Australia, for governments and community leaders to play a stronger leadership role in shining a light on the social, cultural and economic value of refugee migrants in Australia. “The reality is that there are women, men and young people making new friends, learning at school and beyond, working hard and contributing as they re-settle in Australia,” Deb said. “Yes, it is difficult for many who have fled from conflict and persecution, but refugees are also people who are resilient, resourceful and want to contribute to our community. ARA and other community groups and volunteers help people to resettle and get back on their feet. The Oration was a unique opportunity to listen to four remarkable women speak on the theme of I Belong!”
The Oration MC, Tasneem Chopra is Chair of the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights and ‘Anti Racism Champion’ for the Australian Human Rights Commission. The other key speakers were:
His Excellency the Hon Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, ARA Patron and himself a former refugee, opened this year’s ARA Oration.
ARA thanks all who contributed to the success of this year’s oration, including guest speakers, staff at the Hawke Centre UniSA and ARA volunteers.