In 2017, Refugee Week is held from 18 - 24 June, raising awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society. Originally celebrated in 1986, Refugee Week coincides with World Refugee Day (20 June).
This week we have celebrated the theme “With courage let us all combine,” with a variety of events at the College.
One of the most significant events this week is the Migrant Resource Centre’s cultural doll launch, which happened on Tuesday 20 June, World Refugee Day, at the College. One Karenni and one Congolese doll were made by local women who have had refugee experience and Tenison Woods College students were the first to see these wonderful representations of stories and culture. Anelia Blackie, manager of the Migrant Resource Centre, provided some background on the making of the dolls and introduced the two women the dolls are named after, Jolie and Wah Ree, who then shared their stories with Junior Primary students. Their stories were both confronting and moving, with all Reception to Year 5 students captivated by the shocking details of the girls’ refugee experiences. The dolls have been purchased by the college and will be shared between the Junior School classes.
Amongst many other events and activities for Refugee Week, Year 12 students, Victoria Circelli and Anastasia Circelli organised and assisted some junior school classes to create a banner for the Refugee Week Exhibition upstairs at the Main Corner. This was part of their practical project for their Year 12 Religious Education integrated subject.
Year 8 students had a presentation by Sr Elizabeth Young at their retreat on Wednesday 21 June, where she discussed her work with people using the Fruits of the Spirit, particularly in the work the Mercy Sisters do with Refugees.
To conclude Refugee Week, we look forward to the National Karenni Day celebrations this Saturday at North Gambier Primary School at 11.00am.