Greater Bendigo to celebrate Refugee Week

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There are plenty of events planned in Greater Bendigo to mark Refugee Week which takes place from June 17 to 23.

This year’s Refugee Week theme #withrefugees aims to encourage the broader community to support and celebrate people from refugee backgrounds who are living in Greater Bendigo.

This year the City of Greater Bendigo is co-hosting two key events during the week.

The first event is a Recognition Dinner- for businesses supporting people from refugee backgrounds which will take place at the Bendigo Tennis Centre on Wednesday June 20.  This event is a partnership between the City, Rural Australians for Refugees, Bendigo Community Health Services and Multicultural Services and will see experts sharing their views and experiences related to supporting the employment of asylum seekers and refugees in local business.

The second event will take place on Thursday June 21 at La Trobe University’s McKay Lecture Theatre.  The event features Fadak Alfayadh speaking about her life as both a refugee and human rights lawyer in her own personal campaign called ‘Meet Fadak’.  Fadak aims to change the way the community see refugees to improve the national discourse occurring in this space. This event is a partnership between the City, Road to Refuge and Young People for Refugees. 

Other events taking place during the week include screenings of the film “Human”, a multicultural bookmaking and story time sessions at Kangaroo Flat and Golden Square Primary Schools, refugee women’s lunch, bring a friend community lunch, schools debate, Parky’s Family Fun Day, Give Welcome, Give Hope talk by Jessica Hackett and a special forum supporting businesses to reach new markets.

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Councillor Margaret O’Rourke said many refugees and asylum seekers from around the globe had made their home in Greater Bendigo. 

“2018 marks 16 years since Greater Bendigo declared itself a Refugee Welcome Zone by supporting programs, activities and events that help asylum seekers and refugees settle in the community,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“Refugees make a significant contribution to our community and our local economy and Refugee Week is an opportunity to raise awareness of the issues affecting them and to also celebrate the positive contribution they have made, and continue to make.

“The City is proud to support the program of events which aligns with our Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan objectives to provide opportunities for the community to increase their understanding of, and empathy for, residents from culturally diverse backgrounds.” 

A full program of events and activities can be viewed online at


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