Today marks the start of Refugee Week from 16−22 June, and coincides with international events to mark World Refugee Day on 20 June.
Every year Refugee Week is celebrated around the country, providing the opportunity to acknowledge the success of refugees and humanitarian entrants in Australian society.
The theme for Refugee Week this year is Courage, Determination and Resilience.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said Refugee Week is an opportunity to recognise the people who come to Australia through the Humanitarian Programme.
“Refugees contribute to our community in so many ways, and have added enormously to Australian society,” Mr Coleman said.
“This year we will reflect on the personal qualities of courage, determination and resilience—traits embodied by so many humanitarian entrants to Australia.”
Australia has a long history of assisting refugees and is one of the world’s top three contributors to refugee resettlement efforts. Since the end of World War II, Australia has welcomed more than 900,000 refugees and others in need.
“This year our Humanitarian Programme will offer 18,750 places to people in need,” Mr Coleman said.
“We will continue to run an orderly Humanitarian Programme, increase the proportion of the Programme allocated to women and children who are fleeing violence, and ensure that it is sufficiently diverse to react to evolving humanitarian issues.
“I encourage all Australians to celebrate the success of our nation’s Humanitarian Programme this Refugee Week.”