History

Refugee Week 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. Originally celebrated in 1986, Refugee Week coincides with World Refugee Day (20 June).

In 2018, Refugee Week will be held from Sunday 17 June to Saturday 23 June.

2018 Theme

The Refugee Council of Australia has chosen #WithRefugees is the theme for Refugee Week 2018 in Australia. Today, more than ever, we need a global movement to demand the safety and rights of refugees are protected. In Australia, it is the responsibility of our Government, and each one of us to ensure people forced to flee from their homes can live with dignity and with hope.

A ‘Refugee’ is a person; boy, girl, woman or man. Not a label, but a human being with a beating heart just like you and me.  And the refugee experience can be prolonged or it can be fleeting. Today there are more refugees than ever, and only by standing together #WithRefugees can we begin to change this.

Refugee Week provides an opportunity for the Australian public to recognise and better understand the courage and contribution of refugees. People from across the world who have sought and in some cases found, safety in Australia. Hearing their stories during refugee week reminds us that these powerful people are defined by so much more than their past. People who today are making many valuable contributions to Australian society and who show immense courage and resilience.

Refugee Week is an opportunity for ordinary Australians, advocates, faith groups, schools, politicians, organisations, artists and communities to show their support and stand #WithRefugees.

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is the peak national body representing over 200 organisations who support refugees and people seeking asylum and coordinates Refugee Week across Australia. All member and other organisations and individuals holding events as part of Refugee Week are encouraged to link their activities to the national theme.

When history looks back will it be to see them standing alone or will it see we were standing #WithRefugees’.All organisations and individuals holding events as part of Refugee Week are encouraged to link their activities to the national theme.