The Community Refugee Welcome Centre in Callan Park, Lilyfield, will observe Human Rights Day, Thursday, December 10, by launching The Melody of Humanity, a cross-cultural and multilingual music video.
Production of the eight-minute video fostered social inclusion and participation while providing an opportunity for refugee artists to present their work during the pandemic.
The video features 22 artists – newly arrived refugees, Aboriginal community members and local Inner West musicians – who all bring elements from their culture to the project. See the video here.
Many iconic Inner West Council locations are featured, including: Leichhardt Town Hall, King Street Newtown, Community Refugee Welcome Centre, White Creek Valley Park, Camperdown Cemetery, Petersham water tower, Addison Road Community Centre, Bay Run in Lilyfield, Hawthorne Reserve, Marrickville Town Hall, Summer Hill Rainbow Crossing, Hawthorne Reserve, Marrickville Library and Pavilion, and Newtown’s famously graffitied back alleys.
The Community Refugee Welcome Centre is a partnership between Inner West Council and Settlement Services International (SSI). Centre Coordinator Moones Mansoubi said, “The Melody of Humanity project has provided a professional development opportunity for everyone involved, including the artists who actively participated in the creative process of production and who demonstrated their remarkable skills and talents.”
SSI General Manager Service Delivery – Settlement, Yamamah Agha said the project was a reminder that human rights belonged to everyone, and was what bound people together as a community.
“The video provides a vehicle for people to connect and experience culture from diverse perspectives, particularly during a time when many communities are experiencing poor mental health due to the pandemic,” she said.
Refugee and filmmaker Ali Rezvani arrived in Australia in March this year to start a new life. Ms Mansoubi supported him to find opportunities in his field, including connecting him with the Inner West Council, enabling him to use his filmmaking skills to create the project’s video about local refugee experiences.
“The video is a great example of where the skills, motivations and aspirations of diverse human languages come together,” he said.
The Community Refugee Welcome Centre in Callan Park is where refugees and people seeking asylum are welcomed and supported to re-build their lives in their new country while forming meaningful connections with Inner West locals. It was established by the former Leichhardt Council in 2016.
“The Welcome Centre is a great example of how Council is promoting social justice in our own backyard,” said Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne. “The Centre makes a practical difference in the lives of people who have escaped war and oppression to make it to Australia and become part of our Inner West community,” he said.
“This beautiful video is uplifting, inclusive and inspiring. I hope people watch it and open their hearts and minds and reflect on why people leave their homes and flee from their countries, and why we must do a better job of welcoming people who have been displaced by injustice,” Mayor Byrne said.