Diversity Celebrated at Refugee Hub Launch

'Everyone Belongs' was the theme of this year's Harmony Week, and nowhere was this sentiment more evident than at the official launch of CatholicCare’s new Refugee Hub.

Bringing together refugees, volunteers and our Diocese community, the event was the embodiment of joy as attendees shared and bonded over the unique facets of their culture.

The new Church Street Hub houses CatholicCare Refugee Hub and CatholicCare Food Programs, as well as aspects of CatholicCare's SIL program.

Team Leader for CatholicCare's Social Justice Programs, Mirja Colding-Moran, described Harmony Week as a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the rich diversity of our community.

"Families supported by Refugee Hub come from a wide range of backgrounds, including Syrian, Kurdish, Afghani, Congolese, Rwandan, Iranian, Iraqi, Tibetan, Vietnamese, Sudanese and many others. This event was an opportunity for our families to connect and share some of their cultural heritage with each other as well as with staff and volunteers," Mirja said.

"As part of the celebrations, we tasted delicious traditional multicultural afternoon tea treats made by our families. For instance, there was Congolese doughnuts called Mandazi, Syrian biscuits, Egyptian baklava and even a cake decorated as the Kurdish flag! We played bocce and a Swedish game called Kubb. We watched and participated in singing, dancing and drumming sessions. One participant in the SIL program performed a beautifully sung version of ‘Let it Be’, we had few joyful Syrian karaoke performances and one of our Kurdish participants even did a rendition of Australian hip hop! It was lovely to see all the smiles on our guests’ faces as they shared and enjoyed each other’s contributions across cultural, religious and language barriers. Being able to share culture is a great way to build confidence, restore a sense of identity and increase wellbeing for our participants."

You can view some highlights from this event in the photo gallery below!