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Refugee Week 2024

Finding Freedom to shape your own path

Together, we can help Australia’s refugees connect their aspirations, skills, and passions with opportunities that fit their chosen path.

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) has named SSI as a key event partner for Refugee Week 2024, which takes place on June 16-22. 

This year’s theme is again ‘Finding Freedom’, and SSI’s focus is on recognising, celebrating and finding ways to support the unique path each newcomer takes, both before and after their arrival in their new home. 

Be part of a community that stands for equal opportunities for everyone.

“I love IT, it’s my area of expertise – my specialty. It’s what I know best. I want to put my skills to use in this great country.”

Finding freedom through fulfilled career potential

Refugees and migrants deserve a fair go to use their professional skills, experience and qualifications to build lives and livelihoods in Australia that are productive and fulfilling.

Australia is the home of some of the world’s most highly-skilled and qualified refugees and newcomers. But persistent barriers hold back many refugees and migrants from working in their fields of expertise.

There is significant economic value in supporting skilled refugees and migrants to find work in their fields of expertise. More importantly, everyone should have an equal opportunity to achieve their full potential.

“Workers with overseas qualifications can be a valuable addition to business as they bring new ideas, diverse skills and experience.”

Meet refugees reaching for their career goals

Explore stories of refugees who are shaping their own path in Australia.

Ali balances three careers to reach his ambitious goal of meaningfully contributing to Australia’s cultural landscape
Syrian IT professional’s pursuit of tech career in Australia: A journey of resilience and determination
Ambitious engineer pursues Australian career despite local experience roadblock
Faith and fate: Ana was destined to help fellow refugees in Australia

“Everyone has a story worth telling. I strongly believe in the transformative power of journalism to bring about positive change in the world. Even if it’s a small change, I will always grasp it to try to make our world a better place..”

Billion Dollar Benefit

Talent is distributed equally, but opportunity is not.

On World Refugee Day on 20 June 2024, we will launch the Billion Dollar Benefit economic impact report – quantifying the economic benefit of overseas trained professionals in Australia working at their skill levels.

For the first time in Australia’s history, we’ve calculated the economic impact of addressing the skills mismatch of new arrivals to Australia, with the help of Deloitte Access Economics. The report will reveal how many migrant professionals are underutilised, and the billions of dollars could be injected into Australia’s economy by addressing this skills mismatch. 

We will launch the report on World Refugee Day on 20 June, and it will be available on this page soon after. Check out the Billion Dollar Benefit website for more information on our advocacy to unleash the economic potential of skilled refugees and migrants.

Downloads

Billion Dollar Benefit Report
Billion Dollar Benefit Report
Billion Dollar Benefit Flyer
Billion Dollar Benefit Flyer

At the end of the day, we [refugees] are going to open our own business, just like I have done. It is the employers who are missing out on seizing the opportunities that come with hiring us.”

Mohsen,
SSI ex-client and entrepreneur

“My goal is to find the perfect job that matches my skills, experience, and background so I can feel settled.”

What is Refugee Week?

Refugee Week shines a spotlight on the extraordinary people who have come to Australia seeking safety, connection and a new life for themselves and their family.

We share their experiences, celebrate their contributions and strengthen our resolve to support their settlement success.

Together with our partners, SSI is privileged to support refugees’ journeys and enable them to start a new life.

What’s on for Refugee Week 2024

Our team, members and partners will again organise events across Australia to celebrate, share experiences and find ways to support newcomers to shape their own paths.

SSI & partner events

  • June 10-August 3: Homelands Exhibition ‘The Path Within’, Queensland Multicultural Centre (QMC), Brisbane, Queensland. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm. Free and open to the public. No need to register in advance. 
  • June 12-22: Homelands Exhibition ‘The Path Within’, Coffs Central – 35/61 Harbour Drive Coffs Harbour (also known as Palm Central). Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm; Sat 9am-4pm, and Sun 10am-2pm. Free and open to the public. No need to register in advance. 
  • June 14: Hakima – Aseel Tayah, Town Hall Broadmeadows, Broadmeadows, Victoria at 6.30 – 8.30pm. Register here
  • June 15: Refugee Week Planting Day – Broadmeadows Valley Park, Broadmeadows, Victoria at 11am-1pm. Free and open to the public. Register here
  • June 16: Spirit of Welcome, Community Refugee Welcome Centre, Lilyfield, NSW at 11am-3pm. Free and open to the public. Register here.
  • June 17: “Storytelling through Art” Workshop,  Queensland Multicultural Centre (QMC), Brisbane, Queensland. 4.30pm-6.30pm. Free and open to the public. Limited capacity. Register here
  • June 18: Homelands Event, Queensland Multicultural Centre (QMC), Brisbane, Queensland at  6-8pm. Free and open to the public. Register here
  • June 18: Refugee Week Morning Tea with Abdi Aden, Broadmeadows Library, Broadmeadows, Victoria at 11am-12pm. Free and open to the public. Register here
  • June 18-July 1: Homelands Exhibition ‘The Path Within’, Sydney Opera House Boardwalk, Sydney, NSW. Free and open to the public. No need to register in advance.  
  • June 20: Refugee and Migrant Jobs and Skills Summit and Billion Dollar Benefit report launch, National Maritime Museum. Invitation only.
  • June 22: Refugee Week celebrations at the Springvale Community Hub, Springvale, Victoria. Free and open to the public. More information here
  • June 23: Homelands Event, Coffs Harbour, The Laneways (Park Lane & Studio Lane – entrance beside Happy Frog 16 Park Ave, Coffs Harbour) at 1-4.30pm. Free and open to the public. Register here
  • June 26: Family Fun Day – Refugee Week Celebration, Gould Adams Park, Kingston, Queensland at 11am-1pm. Free and open to the public. No need to register in advance.
  • June 28: Homelands VIP Final performance Showcare Event, Sydney Opera House Centre for Creativity, Sydney, NSW. Invite only.

“Give chances to refugees. Don’t look at the person just on paper – have the discernment to see the inner person. Believe and have faith in that person. It’s about having human insight, compassion and faith, and keeping an open mind.”

Get involved

Learn how you can get involved and follow the latest news and updates from SSI.

Join the campaign to break down barriers so skilled refugees and migrants can work in their fields of expertise and contribute billions to Australia’s economy. Learn more about our Billion Dollar Benefit campaign here.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for the latest SSI advocacy campaigns, events and initiatives.

Follow and re-share our Refugee Week 2024 activities on social media, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and X (previously Twitter).

For more information about our Refugee Week campaign and how SSI supports newcomers to reach economic freedom, visit our Refugee Support Services page.

If you have questions about this campaign or would like to partner with us, we’d like to hear from you. Please email info@ssi.org.au and we will be in touch.