This week is Refugee Week and to celebrate, organisations around the country are spotlighting the brilliant contributions (and kickass achievements) refugees have made to Australian society.
The national event, which coincides with World Refugee Day (Saturday, 20 June) also raises awareness about the issues affecting refugees.
Refugee Week is hosted by The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), a national non-profit. This year the theme is #YearofWelcome and while most of the IRL events have been cancelled because of the pandemic, you can still get involved online. There are a heap of ways to support organisations this year, from donating to simply sharing community stories on your social media feeds.
The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA)
For Refugee Week, the RCOA is encouraging people to host their own events or attend virtual ones. You can share and listen to each other’s stories, educate each other, screen films, tune into live cooking demonstrations, and concerts.
You can check out all the official Refugee Week events right here. And if you have the means to, the RCOA accepts donations as well.
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)
The annual ASRC Telethon will return this Saturday to raise vital funds to support refugees and people seeking asylum. There are heaps of ways to join in, including creating your own fundraising page and taking part in the online auction. The auction has already raised over $19,000, which is a bloody solid effort. Items on offer include a lunch or dinner with comedian Judith Lucy, a North Melbourne 2020 team signed guernsey, John Butler‘s guitar, lots of art, and even weekend trips away. The online auction will close at 10:00pm on Saturday, 20 June. Check it all out right here.
The Social Studio
The Social Studio, a collective based in Melbourne, is an RMIT University accredited fashion school, an up-cycled clothing label, a retail shop, an ethical clothing manufacturer, and a community space. The Social Studio gives young people a safe space to develop their skills, train, and create.
Since being founded in 2009, the team has supported over 700 young people from refugee backgrounds through their education and employment programs.
This week, The Social Studio will be sharing stories from their members on Instagram.
If you want to, you can support The Social Studio either by taking part in the Art Scarf Fundraiser or by simply donating. The Art Scarf Fundraiser is an online store raising money for scholarships this year. Ten emerging and established artists have donated a stunning artwork, which has been printed as a limited edition silk art scarf. You can check out the scarfs, right here. They are all divine, tell ya what.
All income generated through the Studio goes straight to creating social benefits for the students, staff, and their communities. For example, $25 can provide a student with a sewing kit, $50 can fund all pattern making paper required for a whole semester, and $100 can provide an essential student pack for one fashion or design student for one year. Find out more here.