Juliette St/Ridge Street Annerley
Brisbane, Queensland 4103

In celebration of UNHCR's World Refugee Day 2008 the Volunteer Refugee Tutoring and Community Support (VoRTCS) Program and St Vincent de Paul Society, in association with The Brisbane City Council and Multicultural Affairs Queensland (MAQ) present:

World Refugee Day ’08 Community Festival

Sunday June 22 @ Annerley Soccer Club Fields

'A huge multicultural celebration of arts, food and culture’

“Acknowledge the Past to Embrace the Future”

Taking place Sunday June 22 at the Annerley Soccer Club Sportsground, The World Refugee Day Community Festival is the apex of Brisbane's World Refugee Day 2008 celebrations. A colourful, engaging and free entry family event open to people of all nationalities and backgrounds, last years event drew over 10 000 people and 08 is shaping up even bigger. The festival showcases and celebrates the wealth of talent and diversity harboured by our refugee communities.

This will include: traditional and contemporary music and dance performances (both on stage and throughout the venue grounds), hip hop dance and music, a huge range of ethnic food, refugee art exhibitions, kids workshops, amusement rides, art and craft stalls with traditional handicrafts, a volleyball competition, a soccer tournament + a guest appearance from Brisbane's own Queensland Roar.

The World Refugee Day Community Festival provides a rare opportunity for Brisbanites to indulge in the cultural multiplicity that is the south-east Queensland community. A recent influx of refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Burma has only seen Brisbane's rich tapestry of multicultural diversity grow stronger, and a quick glance at what's on offer at the festival speaks for itself: Persian kebabs, the Swahili Gospel Choir, Congo River Food, Burundian drumming, Sledag cooking, Ndangamico Dancing Group, Liberian Hip Hop, traditional Somalian food and coffee, Persian Pop Music, Congolese traditional dance + lots, lots more.

World Refugee Day Week 2008 celebrations take place with the aim of:

• Bringing awareness to the plight of refugees worldwide by focusing in on the Brisbane and the greater QLD community;
• Promote understanding and cross-cultural interaction & community spirit; and
• Showcasing a human face to the newest members of our communities.


Running alongside the festivities at the World Refugee Day celebrations will be a vast assortment of workshops allowing people of differing cultures to interact in a fun and safe environment. Taking place at the festival are workshops in:

• Circus performance;
• Traditional Zimbabwean dance and instruments;
• Hip Hop and Beat Boxing; and
• Drumming, under the tutelage of the Beat the Streets’ Police Drumming Group

Running in tandem with these workshops on the day is a collection of programs leading up to the festival. Held over a 4-6 week period, these workshops facilitate members of the refugee and greater Brisbane community to unite around topics of music, dance, sport, art and food. These workshops aim to develop linguistic and artistic skills of the participants, as well as increase their confidence and self-esteem through professional mentoring. Current workshops include:

• Hip Hop Music and Dance – A series of Hip Hop Music and Dance workshops are currently taking place across Brisbane, taking participants through basic to more advanced hip hop moves including B-Boying, Krumping, Rapping and Singing. With workshops taking place in Sunnybank, Acacia Ridge, Annerley and Zillmere, The entire Brisbane refugee community is getting involved. A final dance routine is being crafted by the group to be performed alongside the Trick Nasty crew at the World Refugee Day Festival.

• Cooking Workshops – A series of four workshops in Acacia Ridge, Annerley, Woodridge and Zillmere are currently underway, providing a forum for participants to share recipes, discover exotic foods, and make new friends. The workshops are developing a menu incorporating dishes from different countries, and cultural backgrounds to be sold at the World Refugee Day Festival.

• Sport – Fun and Free practice sessions are underway at Annerley Soccer Fields. The sessions encourage people of all background and skill level to get involved in Soccer, Volleyball and Basketball, and get themselves ready for the sports competitions taking place on the day. Beginners are more than welcome, allowing participants to learns some new techniques and hone their skills, whilst also having fun in a safe and friendly environment.

For workshop times, days and locations, please contact [email protected]

For all other enquiries on World Refugee Day 2008 Workshops contact Elise Koppe at [email protected] or 0439 677 805.

What is World Refugee Day?

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) recognises World Refugee Day as a salute to the indomitable spirit and courage of the world's refugees.

In 2000 the United Nations General Assembly designated June 20 as World Refugee Day to recognise and celebrate the contribution of refugees throughout the world.

World Refugee Day celebrations are set to take place in Brisbane throughout Refugee Week 2008 beginning Sunday June 15, providing the entirety of Brisbane with the opportunity to congregate, participate and celebrate our rich and diverse local refugee communities.

‘A Place To Call Home’

Australia’s Refugee Week theme of “A Place to Call Home” encourages people to think about the global themes of protection and human rights by focusing on the fundamental right to a secure place to call home. It encourages Australians to think about our common obligations to people who have no secure home, as well as to acknowledge the 700,000 refugees and humanitarian migrants over the past 60 years who have made Australia their home.

What Else Is Going On?

An array of activities will be taking place in the lead up to the festival on Sunday June 22, including:

Official World Refugee Day Launch
World Refugee Day will be officially launched at 12:30 on Monday June 16 in the Queen St Mall. Taking place on the main stage, the launch will provide a taste of what is yet come in the celebrations, including cultural performances from the local refugee community, short presentations focusing on rasing awareness of refugee issues, as well as a fashion parade of traditional dress.

Brisbane Leaders' Breakfast
Kicking off the event on Wednesday June 18 is the Brisbane Leaders' Breakfast, held at the Sofitel Hotel in the city's heart. Guest Speakers include the Honourable Justice Michael Kirby AC, Justice of the High Court of Australia, and Abel Sibono, Leader of the QLD Burundian Community. The aim of the Brisbane Leaders’ Breakfast is to promote the World Refugee Day festival, refugee issues, and methods for the business community to help to sector.

World Refugee Day Cocktail Evening – By Invite Only
VoRTCS hosts a free cocktail evening at Mystique Nightclub in Fortitude Valley on Friday July 4, giving VORTCS volunteers and industry workers the opportunity to engage and celebrate World Refugee Day 2008. Attendees will be entertained by cultural performances and artworks from Brisbane's new and emerging communities, and will be given the chance to reflect on issues facing the refugee community.

About VoRTCS
The Volunteer Refugee Tutoring and Community Support Program, (VoRTCS - pronounced "vortex"), is a non-profit, volunteer run program that provides free, in-home English language and cultural support for refugee families in Brisbane through St Vincent de Paul. VoRTCS is rapidly growing and now has over 700 volunteers who visit over 270 families weekly. The Team has been recognised with a number of state awards, most recently, with the Suncorp Queenslander of the Year Community Spirit Award for 2007. For more information, please visit the VoRTCS website www.refugeetutoring.org or email [email protected] .

Sunday June 22 9am – 4:30pm Annerley Soccer Club

Activities Include: Cultural Performances, Ethnic Food Stalls, Traditional Dress Fashion Parades, Sports Tournaments, Hip hop dance and music, Circus Performances, Rides, Art & Craft Stalls, Art Exhibition, + heaps more!


Come and celebrate our ethnic diversity on World Refugee Day 2008

For more information, contact VoRTCS at [email protected] or phone 0439 677 805

For all Media Enquiries please contact Heapsaflash Media:
Heapsaflash: Music Media Management
T: +61 [0] 7 3876 5596
E: [email protected]

Official Website: http://www.refugeetutoring.org/worldrefugeeday

Added by heapsaflash on June 9, 2008