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.

2018 Theme

The Refugee Council of Australia has chosen #WithRefugees as 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.

Past Refugee Week themes

  • 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