CELEBRATING THE CONTRIBUTION OF REFUGEES IN AUSTRALIA

17 June 2019

SENATOR THE HON. KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
 
ANDREW GILES MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR MULTICULTURALISM
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING THE MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
MEMBER FOR SCULLIN
 
CELEBRATING THE CONTRIBUTION OF REFUGEES IN AUSTRALIA
 
For more than 30 years, Australia has marked Refugee Week as a moment to celebrate the positive contribution refugees have made and continue to make to our nation.
 
While refugees come to Australia fleeing persecution, and settlement in a new country comes with its own complex challenges, Labor believes refugees bring so much to Australia – socially, culturally and economically.
 
This years’ theme ‘A World of Stories’ encourages Australians to come together and celebrate by sharing a meal and sharing a story. Every refugee brings their own story and their own journey of how they arrived in Australia. Sharing these stories over a meal is a simple way to better understand the courage and contribution that refugees make to Australia.
 
We only need to look at some of the most famous refugees to come to Australia, such as Football’s Les Murray, comedian and author Anh Do, Governor of South Australia the Hon Hieu Van Le to see a sample of the diversity of the contributions refugees have made to Australia.
 
With more than 880,000 refugees calling Australia home over the past seven decades, Refugee Week gives all Australians the chance to reflect on the contribution refugees make. It also provides an opportunity to reflect on that fact that there are 68.5 million displaced people in the world, 25.4 million of them refugees.  
 
Governments – federal, state and local – all play a critical role in helping refugees settle and adapt to their new life in our country. Labor congratulates those state and local governments who provide these critical support services like education and training, language support, legal and housing services.
  
Labor will continue to scrutinise and hold the Morrison Government to account to ensure it meets its legal and moral obligations to refugees in Australia.  Labor wants refugees to get the right start in Australia, something that all Australians can be proud of.
 
This year, Refugee Week is being celebrated from Sunday June 16 to Saturday June 22.