Share a meal this Refugee Week

Federation continues to be a proud sponsor of the Refugee Council of Australia’s Refugee Week. This year’s theme, “A World of Stories”, will be marked by schools and TAFE colleges across NSW from Monday 17 June to Saturday 23 June.

As part of this year’s event, the Council is urging the community to “Share a Meal, Share a Story”.

“Food is one of the greatest ways we can bring people together and share our cultures with others,” the organisers said about the idea of making food a focus of the week.

“Share a Meal, Share a Story” provides a wonderful opportunity for all public education settings to acknowledge and celebrate refugees, who bring stories of why they left home, their journey and –for the lucky ones – finding safety in Australia.

We are incredibly fortunate to have so many colleagues among us who have that lived-experience and have chosen to shape Australian society by educating our young people and adults for tomorrow’s world.

Teachers in NSW public schools and TAFE colleges are also often an integral part of the journey of so many students from refugee backgrounds and their settlement in a new home. There are more than 8000 students from refugee backgrounds presently enrolled in NSW public schools, with more than 1500 enrolling each year across the primary, IEC and high school settings.

The 2019 Teacher Resource Kit is provided at the link below to encourage schools and TAFE colleges to teach about refugees, as well as take opportunities to explore themes of persecution, displacement, journeys, sacrifice, hope, courage and fear. The kit includes:

  • targeted resources for primary aged students
  • targeted resources for young adults aimed at secondary students
  • refugee-related books aimed at young children
  • activities that look at stereotypes, refugees in the media etc.
  • refugee-related movies
  • educational and political commentary
  • personal stories
  • experiences of resettlement and integration
  • experiences of flight and refugee camps
  • refugee-related documentaries
  • online games from UNHCR for high school students
  • online stories.

Download the kit here.

The return of the Federal Government and the continuation and enhancement of their cruelty to those seeking asylum and safety in Australia will now result in:

  • settlement places frozen at a maximum of 18,750 instead of increasingannually up to 27,000 places
  • no commitments to TAFE where young refugee students access
  • continuation of Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) instead of abolition
  • continuation of the abolition of the SRSS (Status Resolution Support Strategy)
  • potential repeal of the Medevac Bill
  • no solution for those on Manus and Nauru, where a situation without hope is causing immeasurable pain and suffering and is now at a catastrophic point.

Federation members, for their part, will continue the food and supplies drive for the Asylum Seeker Centre, which has been running non-stop since last November. Members will also join with our affiliated organisations and the AEU nationally to continue to do all we can politically to push for a humane solution to the crisis created by offshore processing and mandatory detention at the hands of this Government.

We do not have the luxury of losing hope, we must find the courage, strength and determination to fight on, as so many of our students’ families and others are relying on us to do so.

Click here for more on “Share a Meal, Share a Story”.