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World Refugee Day 2007 National Activities: Australia, New Zealand

World Refugee Day 2007 National Activities: Australia, New Zealand

20 June 2007


A WRD Community Service Announcement was distributed to 21 stations in Australia, servicing both metropolitan and regional areas, and three major television stations in New Zealand.

A Refugee Speakers' Bureau was launched in Melbourne in cooperation with Australian actor and former UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Jack Thompson. Its goal is to increase understanding of refugee issues through the sharing of refugee stories. The launch event was co-hosted and co-funded by the Australian Red Cross and attended by presidents of Rotary clubs, representatives of universities and educational institutions, local government, the Federal Court, NGOs and the media.

With the participation of the National Capital Authority, the Captain Cook Memorial Jet and Carillon were lit in blue. Five other public buildings took part by lighting up in blue from 18-24 June: Old Parliament House, Questacon, the National Library, National Gallery and National Archives of Australia.

More than 750 "Young Refugee Voices" posters produced with the Refugee Council of Australia were distributed to schools, NGOs and government offices in Australia and New Zealand.

To help young refugees share their stories, UNHCR has supported a workshop run by the Voice Arts Trust and Access Radio in Wellington, New Zealand. The workshop culminated in the 'Voices of Youth' radio show on Access Radio, during which the group and single voice performance pieces were recorded and broadcast to audiences across New Zealand. Young refugees from Ethiopia, Somalia, Iraq and Iran took part.

Australia for UNHCR held its 6th annual breakfast to celebrate World Refugee Day on 20 June in Sydney. The event was attended by 330 guests. Participants included members of the financial services and legal sectors as well as schools and refugee supporters.