This World Refugee Day, Jesuit Social Services acknowledges and honours the positive contributions that refugees and people seeking asylum have in our communities, both in Australia and around the world.
World Refugee Day also marks the start of Refugee Week, which will run from Sunday 19th until Friday 25th June. Refugee Week is coordinated nationally by the Refugee Council of Australia.
Julie Edwards, CEO of Jesuit Social Services, reflects on these markers as an opportunity to recognise the experiences of refugees and people seeking asylum.
“For many who have sought safety in Australia, the road to protection is long and difficult. In the face of conflict, danger and persecution, people risk their lives to protect their families and futures.”
“This year, the theme of Refugee Week is ‘healing’. It calls us to reflect on how we connect, learn from each other and move forward together. As a proud partner of Refugee Week, we value the opportunity to consider how we might contribute to this healing. Jesuit Social Services also looks forward to celebrating and honouring the refugees and people seeking asylum who form such an integral part of our community,” reflects Ms Edwards.
Jesuit Social Services has a long history of working alongside newly arrived refugees and migrants, and currently provides support to newly arrived refugees through our settlement program in Melbourne. Through this program, we work with individuals, families and groups from a refugee or culturally diverse background to improve social interaction, build personal capacity and foster a sense of belonging in Australia.
Jesuit Social Services also co-convenes the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) alongside Jesuit Refugee Service Australia (JRS Australia). Through engagement with the broader Catholic community, CAPSA advocates for an Australia that provides safety and welcome to refugees and people seeking asylum.
“Jesuit Social Services will continue to advocate for more humane treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum, to give them every opportunity to lead safe and healthy lives in Australia. At this time, we call on the Federal Government to prioritise fulfilling its election promise of abolishing temporary visas and providing pathways to permanency,” emphasised Ms Edwards.
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