Celebrating Refugees Contributions to Society

Posted in Culture

This week is Refugee week where Australians raise awareness of the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions they make to Australian society. This year’s theme is “The Year of Welcome” which helps promote harmony and togetherness reminding us that regardless of our differences, we all share a common humanity.

Meet Rohullah Hussaini from Afghanistan.

“I left my family and my loved ones behind. I’m seeking asylum and looking for safety and a place to call home.

Finally after nine times try to come to Australia I arrived in here on August 11, 2012 - 2 days before when the Government changed law. I was locked in a detention centre for five months.

And then I came to Swan Hill Vic and found a job as a Landscape Gardener at the Murray Down Golf & Country club and worked there 5 years. During that time my case had been rejected from the government twice. In 2014 and 2015, I rode my bike from Swan Hill to Canberra twice to raise awareness of asylum seekers.

I’ve joined with SES as well 5 years ago from now.

My story been in SBS, ABC and Win news radio and television.

Since I came to Australia I’ve visited my family twice.

My VISA expired last year and now I have no VISA, no Medicare, no right to travel, no right to sponsor my family. I’m living in limbo.

I got married two years ago to my beloved Nooria. We were able to be together 2 months last year in Iran.

Now I’m a father of our beautiful daughter Jasmine, but I haven’t been able to be with my wife to show my support. I haven’t seen my wife or cuddled daughter yet, she’s already 4 months old. They’re not safe.

I’m living with stress and depression and I’m very homesick!

Three months ago I bought a lots of baby clothes for my daughter but now she is three months old’ last week I had to give them away because they wouldn’t fit her...

I’m sorry my friends I have a lots to say but I don’t think I can come out of this limbo life soon.”

There are many people like Rohullah who are facing issues like having no access to medicare and have no right to travel. Rev Amel Manyon is another refugee, the first South Sudanese female minister in the Uniting Church, who came to Australia from war-torn South Sudan as a refugee and finding a place of welcome in the Uniting Church.

In the Uniting Church, Amel found the encouragement to get involved and to take on roles of leadership. This led to her journey of discernment and candidature.

Amel started a faith community for Dinka-speaking South Sudanese in the northern suburbs of Adelaide and ministered there for the past eight(?) years and the faith community became South Sudanese Uniting Church congregation in 2019. On Sunday 7 July 2019, Rev Amel Manyon was inducted as the Dernancourt Uniting Church minister and she spoke about the theme of 2020 Refugee Week, Celebrating the Year of Welcome.

“What a welcoming church we have and what a privilege to be part of this community that has a place for me and embraces my graces and gifts. And I hope Australia be a welcoming and compassionate nation, where every person who seeks refuge here is treated fairly and made to feel welcome and safe-regardless of their country of origin or mode of arrival”.

If you would like to get involved in Refugee Week 2020, head to the Refugee Week 2020 website to discover some ideas.

Share your ideas and how you are raising awareness for Refugee Week 2020 by emailing communications@sa.uca.org.au.

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