Refugee Week 2020 Kicks Off With Examination Of Intersections Of First Nations And Refugee Rights

Refugee Week 2020 kicks off with examination of intersections of First Nations and refugee rights

As millions of people around the world speak out against the marginalisation of black and minority ethnic communities, Refugee Week launches this Sunday with an examination of the issue in relation to the refugee experience. The official Refugee Week launch, which takes place this Sunday, 14 June, will feature two speakers from First Nations communities in conversation with two representatives of Australia’s refugee communities. Together, they will examine ideas of welcoming, community, diversity and tolerance – through Australia’s past and present. Panel speaker…

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Tresor, Former Refugee, Keeps Kicking Goals On And Off The Football Field

Tresor, former refugee, keeps kicking goals on and off the football field

Tresor Ruzangiza has always loved sports, so it was no surprise it was one of the first things he pursued when he arrived in Australia six years ago. Originally hailing from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tresor graduated high school just three years after arriving in Australia, and despite the challenge of adapting to a new country and language he quickly found his place in Access Community Services’ Multicultural Sports Club (MSC). “I was playing soccer every Wednesday night with my…

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From A Refugee Camp To A New Life Mentoring Kids: Naomi’s Giving Back The Best Way She Knows How

From a refugee camp to a new life mentoring kids: Naomi’s giving back the best way she knows how

For Naomi Musangi, becoming a lawyer or journalist was the ultimate dream – but this all changed when she was forced to flee her home in the Democratic Republic of Congo at just nine years old. As a small child fleeing war and corruption, Naomi and her family moved to Zimbabwe, where she was traumatised to see children her age and younger working 12-hour days to feed their families. “We had to visit a refugee camp regularly to fill out…

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Finding Light In Music: Former Refugee Sheds The Darkness Of War For The Sunnier Days Ahead

Finding light in music: former refugee sheds the darkness of war for the sunnier days ahead

“You know what it feels like being home? You have your whole family around you; your parents are there for you, you love your school – it’s just great, and there’s no better feeling.” That’s how Bashir Ali Jibril describes his life in the Democratic Republic of Congo – until 2012 when a politically-motivated war suddenly broke out. “This war took too many lives, including some of my best friends and close family members, and eventually forced us to flee…

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Uyghur Dancer Preserves Culture And Starts Up Business In Australia

Uyghur dancer preserves culture and starts up business in Australia

When Dilnigar Alim arrived in Australia in 2009, she brought with her the unique skills that she gained studying and working as a professional Uyghur dancer and performer in far East-Turkestan.  Now, with the support of SSI Ignite® Small Business Start-ups, Ms Alim has confidence that she can use her unique abilities to share her culture with her new home and build a successful business around traditional dance.  Ms Alim’s passion for the arts can be traced back to her childhood, being raised in a proud artistic Uyghur family…

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Renowned Syrian Singer And Refugee Finds Path To Integration In Music

Renowned Syrian singer and refugee finds path to integration in music

Touching down at Sydney airport Syrian singer and oud player George Karam looked at his wife, Hana, and their daughter, Atra, and said: “Finally we reached Australia, a place where we will be treated with dignity and respect.”   The Karam family received humanitarian visas from the Australian government after they were forced to flee Syria due to the vicious attack on the village that they had once called home.  “We were living very happy and settled life, completed our education, working and our daughters were…

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Legal Aid Community Engagement Officer Recognised For Strong Community Spirit

Legal Aid community engagement officer recognised for strong community spirit

Nohara Odicho, recipient of the STARTTS’ 2019 NSW Humanitarian Award for a Refugee Community Worker, arrived in Australia as a refugee with her father in 2015.  Ms Odicho has since channelled her refugee lived-experience to help others in similar circumstances.  STARTTS is a specialist, non-profit organisation that helps people and communities heal the scars of torture and refugee trauma and rebuild their lives in Australia. Its refugee community worker award recognised a former refugee working on refugee issues with their own or other refugee communities.  Ms Odicho is dedicated to motivating and…

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Former Refugee And Ignite® Entrepreneur Empowers Audiences At TEDxSydney

Former refugee and Ignite® entrepreneur empowers audiences at TEDxSydney

An Ignite® entrepreneur who attended TEDxSydney as part of Settlement Services International (SSI)’s community partnership returned again in 2019 — but this time as a speaker, sharing his incredible story with more than 5,000 people.  Hedayat Osyan, a speaker at TEDxSydney 2019, held in May at the International Convention Centre, was part of SSI’s Pay it Forward contingent at TEDxSydney 2018.  “Pay It Forward” was the key component of the partnership between TEDx and SSI, the official community partner for TEDxSydney. Conference registrants could give community members from a wide range of SSI programs — including…

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Global Refugee Youth Advocate Pronounced Chair Of Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network

Global refugee youth advocate pronounced chair of Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network

SSI Youth Collective steering committee member and refugee advocate Arash Bordbar was elected Chair of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) in 2019.  APRRN is an open and growing network of more than 340 civil society organisations and individuals from 28 countries committed to advancing the rights of refugees in the Asia Pacific.  As a longstanding member, and a partner since 2017, Settlement Services International (SSI) has supported APRRN’s activities in key areas, including joint advocacy for refugee rights at national, regional and international levels.  Other activities between the…

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