A range of activities are on offer this week including a Football Carnival at Whitten Oval involving students from the Adult Migration Education Services (AMES)Youth Sports Program at Footscray and Werribee, to help the community learn more about the refugee experience and celebrate the contributions of refugees and asylum seekers in the West  as part Refugee Week.
Refugee Week has been celebrated in Australia since the 1980s. It provides a platform where positive images of refugees can be promoted in order to create a culture of welcome throughout the country. 
The Great Refugee Week Debate, “That it’s better to make music than kick goals” will also head line the events program. 

Western Bulldogs Chief Executive Campbell Rose said, “The aim of Refugee Week is to create better understanding between different communities and to encourage successful integration enabling refugees to live in safety and to continue making a valuable contribution to Australia.”

“Refugee Week events epitomise the work that the Western Bulldogs, the Community Club of the AFL, through our community arm SpiritWest Services, does every day to make new and emerging communities in the West feel included, engaged and valued,” he said.

Just some of the events taking place in celebration of Refugee Week include:

Tuesday 16th June, 10:30am – 1:00pm @ Whitten Oval, 417 Barkly Street, Footscray
The 2nd annual Inter-AMES Football Carnival involving youth students from the Adult Migration Education Services (AMES) Footscray and Werribee who are all newly arrived to Australia and have come via countries as diverse as Ethiopia, Burma, Vietnam, China and Sudan. 

Wednesday 17th June, 6:00pm – 8:15pm @ Whitten Oval, 417 Barkly Street, Footscray
Refugee Week Great Debate: That it’s better to make music than kick goals
Is music better than sport?  Would the world be a better place if there’s more music and less sport?  Should we encourage more people to make music rather than kick goals?  Find out for yourself and listen to the two sides as students from Braybrook College compete against a team from the Maribyrnong Refugee Week Organising Committee. 

The Debate will also display the final 12 pieces in the Refugee Art Week competition.  Primary School students from across the City used art to depict the ‘Changing face of Maribyrnong’.

Friday 19th June, 1.00pm – 4.00pm, @ Uniting Church Hall, Barkly Street, Footscray
Afternoon of Song: A free concert featuring traditional South Sudanese Songs

All these events will be hosted by the Maribyrnong Refugee Week Organising Committee which is made up of several local organisations concerned with various aspects of the settlement of newly arrived migrants.  The 2009 Committee includes community workers from New Hope Foundation, Sunshine Family Relationship Centre, Centrelink, Eastern and Central African Communities of Victoria (EACACOV), Western Region Health Centre, Footscray Police, Migrant Resource Centre North West and Spirit West Services (Western Bulldogs).  This year’s events were made possible by funding from City West Water, the Maribyrnong City Council and the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

For further information on Refugee Week, click here