Celebrating the year of welcome together

Refugee Week 2020 (14-20 June) is a chance to celebrate the contributions that refugees have made to Australia.
16 Jun 2020

Refugee Week 2020 (14-20 June) is a chance to celebrate the contributions that refugees have made to Australia. People from refugee backgrounds have been through extraordinarily difficult circumstances including conflict, torture and displacement, however these experiences do not define them and refugees continue to make significant contributions to Australia’s social tapestry.

Refugee Week became a national event in 1988 to celebrate the rich experiences, skills and knowledge refugees bring to our community. Refugee Week events have traditionally been celebrated by storytelling opportunities at schools, film screenings, photo & painting exhibitions, concerts and festivals in communities…until this year.

With COVID-19 effecting what we do and where we go, Refugee Week will be celebrated virtually this year. The beauty of celebrating online is that no matter where you live you can participate. There are a number of online events and initiatives planned by the Refugee Council of Australia including Share a Meal Share a Story and SBS’s recipe finder.

Sharing a meal is the perfect opportunity to “celebrate the year of welcome” by getting together virtually or in person to share stories that help build awareness and understanding of refugee experiences. You could host a zoom and each cook and eat a meal in your own homes or with restrictions now eased, you could host and cook yourself.

Why not try cooking Muzafar’s Qalibi pilao from Afghanistan. Muzafar tells his story about cooking this iconic dish for 100 people for a special occasion at a school he and his family started for refugee children while living in Indonesia as refugees. Muzafar recalls “it was the food that broke the iceberg and made us friends.”

You can use Better Access Map to find supermarkets and grocery stores for all your ingredient needs.  If you don’t feel like cooking, why not search for restaurants and cafes that deliver or have a takeaway option. As COVID-19 restrictions ease you may even be able to share a meal at a restaurant or cafe. Food offers an important connection to culture and “breaking bread” with friends, families or colleagues is the perfect way to celebrate Refugee Week 2020 and share powerful stories that help us to connect and empathise.


Keiko Clements
Project Officer Better Access Map