19 June 2013
(Community Recognition Statement, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
I commend Refugee Week celebrations and all those who help include refugees in our society. Refugee Week reminds me about the distressing lives that many refugees escape, including torture, abuse, persecution and discrimination, and to celebrate the positive change and valuable contribution refugees make to Australian society. My father is a refugee from the former Soviet Union and I am very aware of his hope for a better life for himself and his family.
The Refugee Week theme, "Restoring hope", highlights the journey of hope for freedom, safety and security and a better future, something we all seek. About 4,000 refugees settle in New South Wales each year. The rich diversity of refugee communities is celebrated in Refugee Week through a festival of music, theatre, dance, art and food with a wide range of community organisations, schools, students groups and voluntary and government bodies involved. I commend groups and individuals in my electorate who work for refugees and join them in celebrating diversity and inclusion.