The official launch of SA Refugee Week 2017 (18-24 June) by His Excellency Mr Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia at the Government House, commemorated UNHCR World Refugee Day on 20th of June and was attended by over 200 guests. The Governor highlighted the vital role of the SA Refugee Week program enhancing public awareness of issues impacting refugees on a local and global scale, and celebrates, acknowledges and promotes the positive and valuable contribution of refugees to South Australia’s cultural, social and economic development.
The Australian Migrant Resource Centre (AMRC) convenes the Refugee Week Committee comprising of a large network of organisations, including the African Communities Council of SA (ACCSA), Baptist Care, City of West Torrens, the Middle Eastern Communities Council of SA (MECCSA), Multicultural Communities Council of SA, Multicultural Youth Link SA, Muslim Women’s Association, Northern Area MRC, TAFE SA English Language Centre, Thebarton Senior College, Welcome to Australia and Women’s Legal Service.
The SA Refugee Week Committee coordinates and presents a Calendar of Events to encourage understanding, cultural harmony and community engagement through forums, community events, social functions and exhibitions organised by over 100 organisations and community groups including councils, clubs, schools, churches, charities, government agencies, service and settlement organisations, universities and ethnic communities. This year, there are almost 50 events to participate in, with an estimated 20,000 people expected to be directly involved and engaged in the SA Refugee Week program of events.
The launch at the Government House was also marked by a sensational musical performance by Mr Zahir Zakhariah Nadji and Mr Almansori Salah. Mr Zahir Naji recently arrived from Syria as a highly accomplished Oud player with over 35 years of experience as a practicing musician, while Mr Salah was a leading member of the famous Kuwaiti Television Arabic Orchestra for many years. The pair performed a new song titled ‘Thank You Australia’ in Arabic, which was composed by Mr Nadji and accompanied by Mr Salah on the Darbuka drum. The translation of the song is available on request, and conveys the message of security, safety, compassion and kindness of Australia.