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Campfire Stories

Welcoming Cities

Wednesday, 25 July 2018 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm (AEST)

Campfire Stories

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Campfire Stories 25/07/2018 Free  

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Returning for a second Emerge in Yarra Festival, and after two sell-out events, Welcome to Australia and ECCV are proud to present Campfire Stories, back with four new speakers, to share stories of their home, their journey and their lives in an intimate and warm space.

Campfire Stories Emerge in Yarra will once again feature four inspiring storytellers with lived refugee experiences that now call Victoria home.  


Starting at 6.30pm with hot Arabic chai provided by former Syrian refuees, we will begin with a performance and Welcome to Country by the Djirri Djirri Dance Group. We will then hear from our four storytellers, with opportunities for questions from the audience as well. 


Space is strictly limited, so bookings are essential.


This is a free, inclusive event with full accesibilty - all are welcome. Parking is available in the lot opposite the Convent complex.

MC: Lorraine Ngwenya

Born in Zimbabwe, Lorraine Ngwenya arrived in Australia when she was 14. She is a speaker, advocate and entrepreneur, and founder of Useful Link, an organisation that seeks to empower young people in areas of employment, personal development and leadership.

Bwe Thay - Myanmar

Bwe Thay is a Burmese refugee who arrived in Australia in 2009. He is known both within Australia and internationally as a passionate advocate for the empowerment of fellow refugee migrants and asylum seekers through education. A graduate of the Australian Catholic University, Bwe now works as a Migrant Student and Community Liaison Officer at Swinburne University of Technology. His work at Swinburne has contributed to that university becoming a leader in providing a welcoming environment for refugee migrants and asylum seekers. Since 2010 Bwe has been a member of the Refugee Tertiary Education Committee (RTEC), which encourages universities to open their doors, offer online scholarships and give access to higher education for refugee migrants and asylum seekers in transition or refugee camps across the world. He is also the co-chair of the newly established Refugee Communities Advocacy Network Victoria, Member of Regional Advisory Council for Eastern Metropolitan and Vice-President of the Communities Council on Ethnic Issues (Eastern Regions), As part of his engagement with these organisations, Bwe builds awareness of migrant and refugee issues among government and policy makers, and in effect acts as the voice of the voiceless.

Iqbal Safari - Afghanistan

Iqbal is a member of the persecuted minority Hazara, originally from Afghanistan. He came to Australia as a refugee in November 2006. Iqbal could not speak English when he arrived in Australia. Now he has four university degrees including a Masters. Iqbal is a qualified Australian lawyer. He teaches a diploma of interpreting at RMIT University. Iqbal is passionate about social justice. He strives to contribute to making Australia an even better place in any capacity he can. As a student leader, Iqbal assisted students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to actualise their talents and achieve their full potential. As a volunteer lawyer, Iqbal is proud of assisting the most vulnerable and the most disadvantaged Victorians at the Dandenong Magistrate's Court with Victoria Legal Aid. Iqbal and his like minded colleagues have established a non-for-profit political and legal organisation (POLICY Inc) to advocate for shaping an Australia where 'everyone is free and equal in rights and dignity'.

Lizzy Kouth - South Sudan

At the end of 2002, at just 11 years of age, Lizzy escaped war-torn South Sudan with her grandmother, and younger siblings and cousin, seeking safety as a refugee in Egypt. Like many South Sudanese people, the civil war forced Lizzy to leave her home country. Lizzy is passionate about social justice and actively contributes in that space! It has been 13 years since her arrival here, and she currently serves as a member of the Multicultural Advisory Committee Monash, Refugee Communities Advocacy Network, 2017-2018 Refugee Week Ambassador and she has been selected as a member of the metropolitan partnerships Inner South East region. In the past, Lizzy has served as a member for the Victorian Multicultural Commission Regional Advisory Councils, Youth Advocate for the South Sudanese Association Victoria, City of Greater Dandenong and City of Monash Youth Advisory Committee. In 2012, she was awarded the Empowering Monash Women Award for her outstanding participation and contribution to multicultural communities. Lizzy currently works at St. Francis Xavier College as a Multicultural Officer, and for the City of Greater Dandenong Council.

Salat Youhana - Iraq

Salat youhana is from an Iraqi, Christian background. She has  been living in Australia for 12 years and is currently studying a Bachelor of Education Studies at Victoria University. Salat’s  interest is to work with youth and diverse communities, as she experienced the difficulties of a migration and its challenges. At the moment she is the Chairperson of Hume Interfaith Network Youth group. She also works part time at Migrant Resource Centre North West as a project officer and also at Hume City Council as community development officer. Her passion  will always be to be a supporter of young people , and to promote social cohesion and harmony.

Have questions about Campfire Stories? Contact Welcoming Cities

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When & Where

Abbotsford Convent - Linen Room
1 Saint Heliers Street
Abbotsford, VIC 3067

Wednesday, 25 July 2018 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm (AEST)

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