Refugee Week 2022

We continue to support and advocate for the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum. 

Refugee Week (19 – 25 June) and World Refugee Day (20 June) honour refugees around the globe and celebrate the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution.

Darebin Mayor Councillor Lina Messina said these important dates give us an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the positive contributions refugees make to our community.

“It is a unique opportunity for all of us to experience and celebrate the rich diversity of refugee communities and an opportunity for people seeking asylum and refugees to be seen, listened to and valued,” Cr Messina said.

“The theme for Refugee Week this year is ‘healing’. No-one understands this better than those who have lost their homes and had to build new lives from scratch. We have much to learn from refugees about holding onto hope when going on seems impossible.”

Darebin City Council has a longstanding commitment to supporting and advocating for the rights of newly arrived, refugee and asylum seeker communities.

This commitment is reflected in our Towards Equality: Equity, Inclusion and Human Rights Framework 2019-2029, and our membership of both the Welcoming Cities network and Refugee Welcome Zone Leadership Council.

We’re also an executive member of the Local Government Mayoral Taskforce Supporting People Seeking Asylum, working with 39 Councils across Australia to advocate to the Federal Government as part of the Back Your Neighbour campaign.

To mark World Refugee Day, a delegation of Mayors and Councillors is attending the Australian Local Government Association’s National General Assembly in Canberra, presenting a motion calling on the General Assembly to strongly advocate to the Federal Government to increase supports for people seeking asylum.

The Taskforce is also advocating for change through its Back Your Neighbour campaign, calling on the Federal Government to take urgent action on behalf of 100,000 people living in Australia without the basic support and safety they need to build their lives, including access to Medicare, trauma counselling, work rights, education and financial support.

Refugees and people seeking asylum deserve dignity, respect and safety, and Darebin Council always stands ready to work with our partners and local communities to support refugee and asylum seeker communities.

To support the Back Your Neighbour campaign and sign the petition visit backyourneighbour.com.au/petition.