Refugee week dinner sees city's refugees share their cultures

There is nothing like sharing a meal to bridge the gap between cultures and on Thursday the Griffith community were united as they celebrated the contribution made by the city’s refugees as part of ‘Refugee Week’. 

Organised by a number of the city’s service providers the event packed out the senior citizen’s centre as the crowd lined up to try the traditional char grilled chicken skewers made by members of the Afghani and Pakistani refugee community.

“It is a really important event because to highlight that there are refugees here in our community living and working amongst us,” Centrecare’s Joanne Fitzpatrick said.

“It acknowledges the journey they have made and the contribution they are making to our community, enriching our lives. 

“The theme was ‘with courage let us all combine’ saying lets all come together and celebrate refugees.”
Despite the celebration falling in Ramadan, a period where many Muslims fast from sun-up to sun-down, Ms Fitzpatrick said the refugees - many of who were fasting - went the extra mile to prepare food for the event. 

“They were really proud to share their culture,” she said. “They were preparing food as they were starving.”

In a moving tribute an Afghani refugee, who cannot be named for safety reasons thanked the committee behind the event and welcomed the community to the celebration.

Speaking in English, Dari and Urdu he said noted how much it meant to the refugee community to see so many supporting their families.

“I belong here for five years now and my life is here and it means a lot that you enjoy with us this celebration,” he said. The night was made possible by a grant from Griffith City Council through its celebration grants.

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Sam Hawtin