20 July 2017 – Media Release
Cumberland Council’s powerful interactive experience “Refugee Camp in my Neighbourhood” will return to the grounds of the Auburn Centre for Community from Monday 31 July to Friday 11 August.
The simulated refugee camp is a joint initiative of Cumberland Council and the Auburn community. Locally based refugees and asylum seekers will lead tours through the camp and share their personal experience of seeking asylum.
The highlight of the weeklong schedule is the Journey’s Picnic on Saturday 5 August, 10am-4.30pm. Representatives from Cumberland’s diverse community will showcase traditional food, culture, games and all-ages tours of the camp will be held throughout the day.
Cumberland Council’s Interim General Manager Malcolm Ryan invited residents to take a tour and deepen their understanding of the refugee experience.
“The Cumberland area has one the highest populations of refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia. Over the past 25 years more than 20,000 refugees have settled in our area,” Mr Ryan said.
“The Refugee Camp offers a personal insight into the experiences of these refugees, many of whom have fled war or persecution, and faced hardship and struggle in their search for safety and a better life.
“Additionally, it emphasises the importance of providing a safe and welcoming environment for refugees, and creating a tolerant and inclusive community for everyone to enjoy.
“It also creates a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the contribution refugees make to our community, and meet the people from refugee communities who call our local government area home.”
The project has had an overwhelming response in recent years and has won the following awards:
- 2014 Zest Award for ‘Outstanding Project promoting Social Cohesion & Community Harmony’
- 2015 Zest Award for ‘Exceptional Community Partnership Project in a Local Government Area’
- 2015 NSW Local Government Award for ‘Excellence in Diversity’
- 2016 ‘Community Development Award’ at the Community Engagement Australasia Core Values Awards
Refugee Camp in my Neighbourhood is a free event and will run from Monday 31 July to Friday 11 August, with school tours available every day. Tours for the general public are available on Saturday 5 August from 10am to 4.30pm.
The camp is located at the Auburn Centre for Community, 44A Macquarie Road, Auburn – just a 5 minute walk from Auburn Station. Street parking is also available.
Visit refugeeweekauburn.com.au for more information.