Canberra refugee community celebrates World Refugee Day
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency marked the global celebration with refugees in the Australian capital.
UNHCR joined families like Sein Miang's to celebrate World Refugee Day in Australia.
Sein Miang settled in Canberra with the help of Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services, the local settlement organization that partnered with UNHCR to hold the 2017 celebration.
Newly resettled refugees celebrated alongside local parliamentarians, ambassadors, government officials and non-government organizations.
Afghan and Burmese food was served as refugee youth from around the world performed traditional dances.
UNHCR Regional Representative, Thomas Albrecht said World Refugee Day celebrates the enormous strength and courage of those forced to flee their homes.
“Despite facing tremendous hardship and suffering, the resilience of human beings is astounding. We see this among all those of refugee background who are here with us today. Thank you for your indomitable hope and your immense courage”.
Keynote speaker, Adam Bujairami spoke about his experience as a former refugee and Australian Caseworker of the Year.
“The child in me growing up in Yarmouk camp could have never imagined I would be where I am today and alongside my family. I am so grateful to this country for helping me and my family, giving us a permanent place to live and recognising who we are. ”
Adam shared his memories of picking newly arrived refugees at the Sydney International Airport as a caseworker at Settlement Services International.
“When I meet new arrivals at the airport it’s the most amazing feeling I have ever felt. I get up early of a morning to meet them at 5am. Most families that arrive are unsure about what to expect but are so thankful to be in Australia.”
Adam says he witnesses newly arrived refugees feel a sense of belonging again.
“It makes me feel like I have a purpose on this earth and that’s to be supportive of refugees.”