'Share a meal, share a story' to raise awareness in Refugee Week

The theme of 2019 Refugee Week is 'Share a meal, share a story'. Bayside and Georges River Councils are co-hosting two events with Advance Diveristy Services in support.
The theme of 2019 Refugee Week is 'Share a meal, share a story'. Bayside and Georges River Councils are co-hosting two events with Advance Diveristy Services in support.

Arncliffe will host a free information forum on refugees and asylum seekers as part of Refugee Week 2019.

Bayside Council and Advance Diversity Services (ADS) are co-hosting the forum for Refugee Week (June 16 to 22) to raise awareness of what refugees and asylum seekers experience and to help them feel welcome in Australian society.

On Tuesday, June 18, ADS is offering service providers the opportunity to hear from three agencies about the work they do to support refugees and asylum seekers.

Representatives from the Red Cross Migration Program, the Immigration and Rights Centre, and STARTTS - NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors will speak at the information forum.

The forum is designed to help participants understand the difference between an asylum seeker and a refugee, the issues they might face in the Australian legal context, and where to make referrals.

On June 20, ADS is co-hosting a free community dinner to give people the chance to hear and tell stories that highlight the resilience and courage of refugees and asylum seekers, and to spark fresh ideas about how best to support them.

The dinner was inspired by this year's Refugee Week theme 'Share a meal, share a story' and is presented by ADS in partnership with Georges River Council, Settlement Services International, and the Refugee Council of Australia.

One of the people attending will be Nada* (not her real name), a refugee who fled war-torn Syria and came to Australia with her husband and two sons in February, 2017.

In Refugee Week she said she'd like to thank Australia for its support with settlement and the encouragement to participate in her new society.

She'd also like people to understand why people flee their homeland (in her case the bombs, killings, and lack of food) and the courage it takes to leave your house, family, friends, language, culture and employment.

She will be sharing Syrian specialties such as Shanklish (salted balls of yoghurt whey) and kibb alab (a kebab served with a spicy tomato sauce) as part of the Refugee Week dinner.

"As well I be sharing stories about my new life in Australia and the educational opportunities it's given my boys, which means they'll have a better future," she said.

Advance Diversity Services is a leading non-profit services provider that assists migrants and refugees in the St George and Sutherland Shire to thrive in Australian society.

The Refugee Information Forum about refugees and asylum seekers will be held at Coronation Hall, 23 Barden Street, Arncliffe on Tuesday June 18, 9 am to 12 pm.

To book: Register by June 17 got to http://bit.ly/ads-rw-2019

The Refugee Week free community dinner will be held at Kogarah School of Arts, corner of Queens Avenue and Bowns Road, Kogarah When: Thursday June 20, 5 pm to 8 pm.

To book: Visit the 'What's On' page at www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

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