Sharing intimate stories of immigration


With a fresh focus on celebrating food and stories from around the world, Refugee Week is currently underway. Running from Sunday, June 16 until Saturday, June 22, Greater Shepparton community will come alive with a number of events organised.

The theme for Refugee Week 2019 in Australia is #WithRefugees. The ultimate aim of the week is to create a better understanding between different communities and to encourage successful integration, enabling refugees to live in safety and to continue to make valuable contribution to Australia.

On Monday, Refugee Week launched locally with a special and intimate performance at St Paul’s African House, offering residents a chance to experience the performance, Bukjeh. Directed by Palestine-born vocalist, art producer and installation artist, Aseel Tayah, the performance combined song, dance, poetry and theatre to create an immersive art experience about immigration in Australia.

In Arabic, a ‘bukjeh’ describes the small pack of belongings carried by refugees and travellers and Monday’s performance depicted a virtual swag of intimate stories of displacement from many cultures across many eras.

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Cr Kim O’Keeffe encouraged all residents to get involved in Refugee Week activities.

“Refugee Week is Australia’s peak annual activity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees in Australian society,” Cr O’Keeffe said.

“Council is committed to continuing to work for a vibrant cohesive community that celebrates and incorporates aspects of cultural diversity within daily life.”

There are many Refugee Week events and activities happening throughout Greater Shepparton this week. To find out more, visit