Everyone is welcome is come together in this year’s Refugee Week to share a plate, a story, music and friendship through activities happening across the Coffs Harbour area.
“Weeks like this are a chance to connect and reconnect with our diverse population and celebrate everything that makes us unique, special and part of one community,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight. “It’s important to remember that refugees and migrants are not a vague group – they are mums, dads, sisters, brothers, cousins, friends and neighbours who all have a story to tell. We’re very proud of the welcome we as a community give people from all sorts of backgrounds – so let’s celebrate the people of Coffs Harbour in Refugee Week.”
The headline event will, once again, be the hugely popular Freedom Feast taking place at the Showground on Thursday, June 20, 6pm-9.30pm.
The Feast is seated shared community meal experience with a variety of live entertainment – a melding of story sharing, local cultural performances and touring national multicultural artists – all coming together under the one roof in the heart of Coffs for an incredible evening of food, conversation, music and dancing. Bring a plate of food to share, which tells others something about who you are and where you are from, and join a community feast. This year’s Feast will feature the ‘Homelands Tour: crossing borders, crossing cultures’ live music tour showcasing the talents of professional musicians from refugee backgrounds who will share their stories, rhythms, melodies and settlement experiences. This event will feature Tibetan Tenzin Choegyal, Ugandan Kween G, Yasmin Ibrahim from Sudan, along with Marcello Milani and Shen Flindell.
The Freedom Feast is free, but bookings are required – and are selling out fast. Go to freedomfeast2019.eventbrite.com.au to book.
The ‘Staging Post’ will be screened at the Cavanbah Centre on Friday, June 21, at 6.30pm. The film follows two Afghan Hazara refugees, Muzafar and Khadim, who are stuck in Indonesia after Australia ‘stopped the boats’. Faced with many years in limbo, they built a community and started a school which inspired a refugee education revolution. The screening will include a Q&A session featuring the film’s director Jolyon Hoff and staf Muzafar Ali, along with local community members form refugee backgrounds.
This is another free event, but bookings are required. Visit the Jetty Memorial Theatre website to book your place.
Lullabies and Sweet Dreams – opening at the Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre (Wadjar Gallery) in Red Rock Road, Corindi, on Saturday, June 22 – completes the major events for Refugee Week. It is a cross-cultural collaboration with local women from diverse migrant and refugee backgrounds working alongside a collective of local artists and facilitators to explore the themes of cultural identity, family and belonging. It has culminated in a multi-media exhibition of sound and photography, ceramics and visual arts, food stories and memories. The launch will feature live Aboriginal and Middle Eastern cultural performances, an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony and amazing food. The exhibition will run until July 6.
The launch event is free, no bookings required and will be held from 11am-2pm on Saturday, June 22. Visit http://regionalartsnsw.com.au/event/wadjar-indigenous-gallery-lullabies-and-sweet-dreams-opening/ for more information.