Home > Features > Refugees- Australia’s Dividend

Refugees- Australia’s Dividend

THIS REFUGEE Week (20-26 June) the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) is thanking refugees for the huge contribution they make to Australia.

“Refugees are Australia’s dividend,” said FECCA Chair Pino Migliorino. “To invest in refugee settlement, refugee health and welfare, is to invest in Australia’s future.

“Refugees contribute greatly to Australia – making us a stronger, smarter, fairer country.

“Refugees make Australia stronger because they have survived against the odds and bring with them to Australia determination, and an appreciation of the value of safety, life and freedom.

“Refugees make Australia smarter because they bring with them skills, and experience from all over the world. They increase our marketability, our relevance, our creativity and our innovation.

“Refugees make Australia fairer because they support our democracy – they appreciate the values and freedoms our democracy affords.”

“Since the end of WWII approximately 750,000 people have come to Australia as refugees,” continued Mr Migliorino. “It is quite extraordinary when you think about the contribution those people have made to Australia. Prominent Australians from refugee backgrounds include Dr Berhan Ahmed (2009 Victorian Australian of the Year), Nam Le (prize winning author), Tan Le (former young Australian of the year), Judit Korner (businesswoman) and Sir Gustav Nossal (medical scientist), to name a few.

“The theme of this year’s Refugee Week is ‘freedom from fear’,” Mr Migliorino concluded. “We all have the right to live in safety with our families ‘free from fear’.

“This Refugee Week all Australians should stop and consider the journeys refugees undertake – the hardships they face in their countries of origin, the struggles they face in seeking refuge, the drive they exhibit in setting up new lives in Australia and the invaluable contribution they make to our country.”