Why does Refugee Week have a theme? 

The Refugee Week theme has a number of important functions:

  • It raises awareness of the issues affecting refugees. The theme aims to highlight aspects of the refugee experience and help the broader community to understand what it is like to be a refugee.
  • It helps to make Refugee Week a national celebration. The theme provides a focal point for events across Australia, uniting separate activities into a single nationwide celebration.
  • It promotes harmony and togetherness. The theme unites individuals, communities and organisations from many different backgrounds behind a common cause. The common theme is a reminder that, regardless of our differences, we all share a common humanity.
  • It broadens the impact of Refugee Week. The theme provides a common, cohesive message which can be promoted across the country, helping to maximise the effectiveness of awareness-raising activities.

2020 Theme – celebrating the year of welcome

This June we are amplifying work already undertaken for the year of welcome with a shift to a contingency of how people could celebrate within their own homes and communities as a result of Covid-19.

In 2020, we will be bringing you the first ever virtual Refugee Week!

We are going online and virtual to educate, celebrate and encourage all Australians to participate.

Whether or not we’re still in lockdown come June, our Refugee Week team will be bringing you an awesome line-up so that you can join the celebrations from your own home.

We’re delighted to have joined forces with SBS Food Online for Refugee Week 2020 as part of our ‘share a meal, share a story’ initiative.  You’ll be able to watch and cook along with people from refugee backgrounds as they share delicious dishes from their home cuisines and tell us what that dish means to them.

And that’s not all – members of Australia’s refugee communities are offering up their talents to help us bring you an exciting week of entertainment.  Think creative arts, thought-provoking discussions, movies and more. Also for the first time in 2020, we’ll be offering tailor-made resources for schools, workplaces and more.  And if you find yourself with more time on your hands these days, what better way to spend your time than planning your own virtual event?

Past Refugee Week themes

  • 2019: A World of Stories
  • 2018: #WithRefugees
  • 2015-2017: With courage let us all combine
  • 2012-2014: Restoring Hope
  • 2009-2011: Freedom from Fear
  • 2008: A Place to Call Home
  • 2007: The Voices of Young Refugees
  • 2006: Journeys
  • 2005: Different Past, Shared Future
  • 2004: A Journey of Understanding Towards Hope and Respect