SSI News Blog

Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation’s first of four “seasonal” exhibitions, the Summer Art Exhibition, features work by the Arts West collective of artists that includes former refugee Bassam Jabar.

The hospital’s Foundation Art Program provides opportunities for young creative talent and supports the recovery of patients, some of whom spend many months in hospital.

Sleeping Beauties, by Bassam Jabar.
Sleeping Beauties, by Bassam Jabar.

Arts Manager of the program Roxanne Fea said work was chosen based on what was ideal for the hospital but must be of a high standard.

“The motto of the Arts Program is ‘art celebrating life’,” said Ms Fea.

“Art transforms the Sydney Children’s Hospital into a positive place, and the Convergence exhibition, of which Bassam is a part of, is our main summer show being exhibited in our busiest art space.”

‘Sleeping Beauties, which features on the exhibition invitation, is one of four paintings that have been donated by Bassam to be sold at the exhibition to raise valuable funds for the hospital.

Convergence is a collection of art produced specifically for the hospital by members of the Arts West Art Collective. The Collective is made up of artists from refugee and migrant backgrounds based in western Sydney who want to give back to the community.

Mr Jabar is one of these talented artists and is a successful entrepreneur participating in SSI’s Ignite Small Business Start-ups initiative.

Mr Jabar came to Australia from Iraq, via Syria, and is slowly building a small business here.

SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said Mr Jabar’s eagerness to give back to the community, after being in Australia less than two years, was a testament to his character.

That Mr Jabar is already seeking ways to give back to the community, after being in Australia for less than two years, is a wonderful example of the resilience and resolve that so many new arrivals show.

Ms Roumeliotis said the Ignite Small Business Start-ups initiative was established to support the entrepreneurial skills, knowledge, and experience of refugees as they navigate the Australian business environment and to help them reach their full potential.

“Most refugees and migrants have been on incredible journey to come to Australia,” Ms Roumeliotis said.

“They are keen to get on with their lives, settle into their new home country, and to contribute and give back to their local communities and to Australian society generally.”

“It is a powerful thing to witness the successful transformation and empowerment of another human being.”

Event details:

Summer Art Exhibition, March 5-May 22

Sydney Children’s Hospital

High St entrance, Randwick


Success stories

Ania Kebabjian story featured in Marie Claire Fashion Magazine: "I made Australia home"

Ania Kebabjian fled Syria via Lebanon and arrived to Australia in 2016 as a refugeeAnia Kebabjian fled Syria via Lebanon and arrived to Australia in 2016 as a refugee. She admits that starting up a new life and settling in takes time - but 2017 was different, Ania explains to Marie Claire magazine, as she finally feels at home.

Read more ...