The Fremantle Greens, City of Fremantle, Amnesty International, the Anglican Church and many others have joined together to host the Refugee Welcome Fiesta this weekend.
The all-inclusive community event to celebrate the diversity of our cultures and the new lives of refugees in Australia begins at 11am on Saturday, June 23rd, at the Fremantle Esplanade.
From 11am until 1pm the Fremantle Esplanade will host music, dance, food stalls, and soccer (a five-a-side tournament). At 1pm ‘Walk Together' begins - a walk for harmony through Fremantle. The Fiesta ends at 4pm.
Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, MLC for South Metropolitan Lynn MacLaren and MLC for East Metropolitan Alison Xamon will attend the event, which is hosted by the Greens Refugee Action Group, the City of Fremantle, Amnesty International, Anglican Social Responsibilities Commission, ASeTTs (Assisting Torture and Trauma Survivors), CASE for Refugees, Coalition for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees (CARAD), Fremantle Multicultural Centre, Kulcha, Oxfam, Project SafeCom, the Refugee Rights Action Network and the Uniting Church Social Justice Board.
Senator Ludlam said the fiesta was an important event for reminding us of what Australia should be.
"People fleeing war and persecution who come to Australia to seek a better life for themselves and their kids are welcome regardless of how they come. The false and bizarre fusion of the unrelated issues of asylum seekers and border protection has warped the national debate, and made us forget what kind of country we really are - welcoming, tolerant, prosperous, spacious and above all - extremely lucky," he said. "The mandatory detention of asylum seekers has no place here, or anywhere."
Greens MLC Alison Xamon commented that the day would be an opportunity to celebrate the positive contributions that refugees who arrive on our shores bring.
"Far too often the so-called refugee debate is couched in divisive and polarising terms. Days such as that planned on Saturday give us the opportunity to be reminded of the humanity of those who come to Australia to seek refuge, and to celebrate the richness that multiculturalism brings to the Australian community."
All welcome, of course.