Most of these official Refugee Week events are free to attend, but if you would like to make a ticket donation to support the costs of Refugee Week, please click here.  All participants from refugee and first nations backgrounds are paid for their participation and any further funds raised go to supporting the advocacy of the Refugee Council of Australia. To see the full calendar of Refugee Week events, and to register your own event, check out the Refugee Week Events Page here.

Sunday June 14

RSVP: On ‘Welcome’: Migration, First Nations and Refugee Communities

6pm – 7.45pm AEST/ 5.30pm ACST/4pm AWST

What’s in a welcome? It’s a word we hear often in relation to Australia’s refugee movement – but in the context of hostile refugee policy and unceded sovereignty, what meanings can it hold?

Together with the Refugee Council of Australia, we’re hosting the official launch of Refugee Week 2020. We’ll kick off the week-long celebration with a deep dive into the parallels and intersections between Indigenous and refugee rights, curated by director, creative producer and playwright Grace Edward and hosted by Shabnam Safa. Speakers from Australia’s First Nations and refugee communities will reflect on complex ideas of hospitality, community, diversity and tolerance – through Australia’s past and present.

Monday June 15

RSVP: Words Without Borders: an evening of spoken word and poetry

6.15pm – 7.15pm AEST/5.45pm ACST/4.15pm AWST

‘Poetry is like a bird,’ the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko famously said. ‘It ignores all frontiers.’

People whose lives have been governed by borders often find solace in the freedom of artistic expression. Join us for an evening of poetry and spoken word, performed by members of Australia’s refugee communities.

Curated by Manal Younus, the celebrated Eritrean storyteller who now calls South Australia home, this special online event will showcase the talents and stories of brilliant poets from across the country. Hear from emerging and established artists, connecting from their homes to yours, as they share words of both freedom and exile.

Hosted by Younus, with Lujayn Hourani, Hani Abdile, Flora Chol, Awale Ahmed and Marziya Mohammadi.

Wednesday June 17

Voices from the front line: Refugee women and COVID-19 Forum
12pm-2pm AEST (11.30am-1.30pm SA/NT, 10am-12pm WA)

Join Refugee Council of Australia, Settlement Services International and Harmony Alliance for a national virtual forum discussing the experiences of refugee women and women seeking asylum and the responses from frontline services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to those who attended this forum discussing the experiences of refugee women during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can now watch the video of the forum online by following this link:

Global storytelling night

6pm-7pm AEST/5.30pm ACST/4pm AWST

Join us for this special event, part of the official 2020 line-up and a first for 2020!

Join four amazing people from around the world – now living in Canada, Europe, Hong Kong and Australia as they share their own stories of ‘welcome’ and ‘imagination’, based on this year’s Refugee Week theme. MC’ed by the amazing Mariam Issa.

In partnership with Refugee Week UK and Counterpoints Arts.

Link to follow – please click above to RSVP and receive final details when available.

Thursday June 18

Foundations for Belonging: A snapshot of newly arrived refugees
1pm – 2pm AEST/12.30pm ACST/11am AWST

Zoom: RSVP via link above

Successful settlement and integration is a goal shared by refugees, the communities where they settle and government at all levels.

Join Settlement Services International for the launch of new research that shines a light on the social and civic dimensions of integration. Hear the perspectives of refugees themselves and their everyday experiences of welcome, participation and belonging.

Learn of actions that governments, policymakers, service providers and civil society can pursue to strengthen their contribution to settlement and integration.

ABC News reporter Lydia Feng will moderate a panel discussion featuring research Co-author and Senior Research Fellow at Western Sydney University Shanthi Robertson, SSI Settlement Services Manager Dor Achiek and Refugee Council of Australia Policy Officer Shufuka Tahiri.

Thanks to those who attended this event. You can watch the video here:

World Refugee Day: Live Event

4pm-5pm AEST/3.30pm ACST/2pm AWST
This year, as Australia for UNHCR celebrates 20 years of Australians supporting UNHCR, please join us for a very special 2020 World Refugee Day online event. 

In a year marked by unique challenges, this year’s World Refugee Day theme ‘Everyone Counts’ is truer than ever before.

This event will feature a live and in-depth conversation with two powerful advocates for refugees, Australia for UNHCR Special Representative Marta Dusseldorp and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett AC.

Date: Thursday 18 June
Time: 4pm – 5pm AEST
6pm – 7pm NZST
Ticket price: $60
Corporate table: 
If you would like to purchase a corporate table of 10 click here

If you have any questions, would like to know more or would like to purchase the tickets offline, please contact us via email or call 1300 361 288.

Friday June 19

STARTTS Annual Humanitarian Awards

3pm AEST/2.30pm ACST/1pm AWST

To celebrate World Refugee Day and wrap up Refugee Week.

NSW Humanitarian Awards
Friday 19 June 2020
3:00pm-4:00pm AEST
Registration via
Zoom Webinar format

For Sama: online screening

In partnership with the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival (HRAFF)

In partnership with the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, we are delighted to bring this beautiful film right to your living rooms. Oscar-nominated and recipient of countless awards, FOR SAMA is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her.

Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice–whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter’s life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much.

The film is the first feature documentary by Emmy award-winning filmmakers, Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts.

View trailer here:

RSVP for ticketing details and link.