SENATOR KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
ANDREW GILES MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING THE MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIES AND URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE
MEMBER FOR SCULLIN
Refugee Week is a time to celebrate the contribution refugees have made, and continue to make, in each community around Australia - enriching our culture and demonstrating how they are integral to the fabric of our society.
Australia has welcomed over 900,000 refugees since 1947 and we continue to welcome, and provide safe haven to, people who have escaped persecution and unimaginable tragedy.
Refugee Week provides an opportunity to reflect, celebrate and welcome refugees who now call Australia home.
Every refugee is welcomed to Australia in a different way. Every refugee has taken a different path to get here. Every refugee has their own story to tell. To flee, often with nothing more than the clothes on your back and make a new home in Australia, is no easy task.
We welcome every refugee that has arrived here with open arms and warm smile. Many are now community leaders, doctors on the frontline during this
pandemic, and even sports stars.
It is also a time to think of refugees and displaced people who currently struggle around the globe. Australia must not forget that there are over 70.8 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, with 25.9 million of those people recognised as refugees.
One of the most pressing humanitarian crises is on Australia's doorstop - there are over one million refugees currently in Bangladesh, displaced from Myanmar, waiting for safe passage back home or a chance to start a new life in a new country.
At home, Labor congratulates the local and states governments who have stepped up to support asylum seekers and refugees, as well as other people on temporary visas, who have been adversely impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All levels of government must work together to continue to provide critical support services like education and training, language support, legal and housing services to people who have settled in Australia.
Whilst COVID-19 restrictions are being eased, celebrations for this year's Refugee Week will take place virtually for the first time, allowing people across all states and territories to celebrate.
Refugee Week is being celebrated from Sunday 14 June, 2020 and culminates on World Refugee Day - Saturday 20 June, 2020. You can join the celebrations by using the hashtags #RefugeeWeek and #YearOfWelcome.
Labor wants to ensure refugees can continue to be welcomed to and supported in Australia and to ensure our humanitarian settlement program is something that all Australians can always be proud of.