Refugee Week 2019

Group of people dancing in a circle

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Penrith Multicultural Interagency held its annual Refugee Week Event on Wednesday 19 June at St Marys Corner with the aim to celebrate the courage and contributions of refugees past, present and future in our Local Government Area (LGA). Over 170 participants attended the event.

Refugee Week was officially opened on behalf of the Mayor by Councillor Brian Cartwright, with Councillor Robin Cook also in attendance. The First Nation’s People message was delivered by Mitchell Beggs-Mowczan from the Local Area Health Service and previous recipient of Council’s Young Person of the Year Award.

Under the theme 'A World of Stories', the event included a showcase of the rich cultural diversity that exists across the LGA. This included performances by Samoan musicians Hayze Tauveve and Ruhi Lavaki and Nepean Multicultural Access's music group. These groups sang about the importance of unity and harmony in the presence of war and hardship that exists in the world.

The African drumming group and Punjabi community groups captured the audience with their vibrant coloured costumes, heart pounding loud African drums and elegant Punjabi dancing.

A screening of a short film developed by Bennett Road Public School students was followed by a refugee/asylum seeker panel interview. These provided deep insights into the challenges experienced by refugee and asylum seekers on arrival and during settlement but also highlighted the many opportunities that come with living in Australia's safe and secure environment.

Concluding with an interactive belly dancing performance that had everyone on their feet, Refugee Week participants enjoyed lunch where personal stories were recounted and advice shared on their journeys so far.

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Sunday, 23 June 2019.