The Library invites you to join us in observing Refugee Week, which runs from Sunday 20 June (World Refugee Day) to Saturday 26 June. Refugee Week provides the opportunity to celebrate the contributions of refugees to Australian society and to educate people about who refugees are, why they come to Australia and the type of challenges they face.
The theme for Refugee Week 2021 is Unity. There is a powerful potential in unity—together we can create a culture of welcome and understanding, leading to more cohesive communities. The successful integration of refugees in Australian society means that refugees can live in safety and also be accepted and valued in their new home.
At Griffith, we aim to create an inclusive community that welcomes and supports people from refugee backgrounds. Juvenal Ndayishimiye, a Griffith Futures Scholarship recipient and Business graduate, knows firsthand the hardships of building a new life after having to flee his home country of Burundi. Now, more than 10 years after arriving in Australia, Juvenal gives back to the community through his youth mentoring projects.
“I’ll always appreciate it. I was made to feel I belonged. I was made to feel valued … I want others to have that same opportunity.”
To read more about Juvenal’s experience, visit the Staff Giving website. You can also visit the Student Equity Outreach website to read the personal experiences of other Griffith students and graduates and find out more about the academic support available to students from refugee backgrounds.
How do I get involved?
The official Refugee Week website has plenty of recommendations of how you can get involved. Check out the Refugee Week events calendar and the Queensland Government’s Multicultural Affairs events calendar to find out what’s happening near you or consider hosting your own event; this year, you can register to Share a Meal, Share a Story to build community awareness and raise funds for the continued support of refugees in Australia.
The most valuable contribution you can make is continuing to welcome and support refugees even when it’s not Refugee Week. Explore the different ways you can provide support through your work or in the wider community by uniting with organisations that support refugees. Not sure where to start? Take a look at the Queensland Multicultural Resource Directory, where you can search for local refugee service organisations, or consider volunteering.
How do I learn more?
To learn more about the diverse experiences of refugees, you can find the following books through the Library:
- Refugee Journeys: Histories of resettlement, representation and resistance.
- The displaced: Refugee writers on refugee lives
- Belonging and becoming in a multicultural world: Refugee youth and the pursuit of identity
- Growing up African in Australia
- Griffith Review 61: Who we are
- No friend but the mountains: Writing from Manus prison (find it in BONUS+)
You can also read current research at Griffith Research Online, including:
- The long-term financial and psychological outcomes of pre-settlement trauma and post-settlement difficulties in resettled refugees
- The influence of premigration trauma exposure and early postmigration stressors on changes in mental health over time among refugees in Australia
- Sport participation may protect socioeconomically disadvantaged youths with refugee backgrounds from experiencing behavioral and emotional difficulties
- Community-based interventions for building social inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia: A systematic review
Additional information and statistics are available on the Refugee Council of Australia website.