YOUNG adult refugees who visited Beechworth last July return to the North East on Friday to share stories at Beechworth Arts Council’s seventh annual Writers, Readers and Poets’ Weekend of their search for asylum.
The students from St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre in North Melbourne are participating in a panel discussion called ‘The way of the world’ at Mayday Hills’ George Kerferd Hotel on Saturday.
Arts Council planning group’s Lesley Milne said the idea at the heart of this year’s WRAP was to inspire participants in the weekend’s workshops and discussions to encounter different ideas, people and cultures.
“We wanted very much to have a diverse range of voices,” Ms Milne said.
“And we thought about these young people that we’d met last year and how much that had meant to them and how much we felt this was really an opportunity to hear more of their stories and for our local community to understand a little bit more of what they’re going through.”
Ms Milne said the students were refugees from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iran and Iraq.
“’The way of the world’ is from a book by Swiss writer Nicolas Bouvier and it’s about his 1953-54 travels through the former Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey and Iran and it’s his excitement and observations of how other people are living,” she said.
“We thought that (the panel discussion) could be a really wonderful way to expand the way we think of what the world is.
“And we feel it’s very important to hear the story of asylum seekers first hand.
“There’s a lot of misinformation and distorted truth in the media that makes it very difficult for ordinary Australians to know whose word to trust.
“And we know – we’ve got a lot of evidence – that shows the alarming and growing numbers of refugees and displaced persons and asylum seekers throughout the world, because wars and conflict have caused more people to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere.”
Go to Beechworth Arts Council website for WRAP information.
Go to www.beechworthartscouncil.org.au and follow the WRAP links for information and bookings
This post is part of the thread: Border refugees and asylum seekers – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.