Refugees share trip tale

Hampden Park Public School PS - refugee week Photo by Radim Cechvala

RAISING almost $1,000, Hampden Park Public School went Red for Refugees during Refugee Week last week, among hundreds of events around the country to help counter the sometimes negative portrayal of refugees.

On Thursday, Hampden Park put on a special Refugee Week assembly to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers, and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.
On the same day, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees released its annual report showing a record 70.2 million people (1 per cent of the global population) have had to flee their homes.
“Hampden Park has over 80 students from a refugee or asylum seeker background, and 11 of them from Years 4, 5 and 6, including from Burma and Syria, bravely made moving speeches about their refugee journeys,” the regional Department of Education Refugee Support Leader Mark Goudkamp said.
“They were joined by two senior students from Belmore Boys High School whose stories also engaged the audience of over 1,200 students, parents, teachers and community members.
“A group of Rohingya kindergarten students performed a play based on the story of the Three Billy Goats to highlight how and why people need to leave their homes, and the dangers involved in their journeys. The play was narrated in both English and the Rohingya language.”
As well as Mark, special guests included Brodie Purdon, from the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS), and Jenny Tracey, representing the Asylum Seekers Centre (ASC).
“The P&C committee also organised a big barbecue which, together with donations for our Red for Refugees mufti day, raised a total of $951.30 for the crucial work of RACS and the ASC,” Mark added.
“These two organisations are among those which support vulnerable asylum seekers living in the community.”