(The IS Times Newsdesk)
Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams organised an event at Parliament House on Thursday last to celebrate the contribution of refugees to NSW during Refugee Week.
This year’s theme encourages all Australians to stand #WithRefugees, to ensure people who are forced to flee from their homes can live with dignity and hope.
Mr Williams said the NSW Government is proud to support more than 15,000 refugees who have fled persecution and their homes to start a new life in NSW over the past two years.
“Refugee Week is a significant time for us to stand together in unity and respect to celebrate the invaluable contributions of refugees to our community and State,” Mr Williams said.
“It is a time to recognise those who have faced persecution and overcome adversity to make NSW their home.
“Importantly, it provides a unique opportunity for us to come together to experience the rich diversity of our refugee communities through a variety of activities, including music, art and local festivals.”
Mr Williams also said the NSW Government is committed to ensuring the health, education and employment needs of refugees are met as swiftly as possible following their arrival.
“The NSW Government committed more than $146 million over four years to support refugees’ access valuable services and rebuild their lives here.”
Concluding on 23 June, Refugee Week aims to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and to celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees. The meeting was also addressed by Prof Peter Shergold, NSW Coordinator General for Refugees Settlement. Ms. Alia a Syrian Refugee shared her experiences on arrival in Sydney. “You have to be at right time and right place, she said. It was not easy to reach Australia but I was lucky to find a job after overcoming the challenge of learning English.” She had to first reach Lebanon before finally reaching Sydney.