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Festival will highlight contribution of refugees to Australian society

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on August 16, 2011 | 4:05 PM

he Festival of Refugees in St Kilda on Sunday August 21 will celebrate the positive and creative contributions made by refugees and asylum seekers to Australian society.

The festival is the largest annual celebration of its kind in Victoria. This year, attendees will include refugees from Sudan, South Sudan, Burma, West Papua, Sri Lanka, Congo, Tibet, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe. The festival will feature cultural performances from members of Melbourne’s refugee population, including guest artist Red Horse, a Native American dancer, and Uyghur and Kurdish dancers.

Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, is one of the organisations that co-ordinates the Festival of Refugees.

Its Executive Director, Alistair Gee, said, “This annual festival is a wonderful and much-needed opportunity for refugees in Australia to share their stories and their gifts. So much of the public refugee debate in Australia does not include the voices and perspectives of refugees themselves, and features language that dehumanises and even demonises people who flee persecution for a better life.
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