Help refugee families enjoy coast

The Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast are providing 12 refugee families from Canberra with the chance to have a beach holiday over the weekend April 6-8 and are asking anyone in the community who would like to help with accommodation, to contact them.

Social Justice Advocate Gavin Bell said locals can do anything from providing a room to getting involved in some of the activities.

The families are supported by the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services of Canberra and a total of 55 family members and a number of carers will arrive in Merimbula on Friday, April 6. The families, now settled in Canberra, originate from various countries including Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria, Myanmar and Sierra Leone.

Mr Bell said for many it would be the first time they had been to the coast.

“They are very excited to see the area and the natural beauty we offer which contrasts so much from the war torn countries they have left. Among other things, we will provide a Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony and cultural activities on Saturday and a visit to Potoroo Palace on Sunday, prior to them leaving for home,” Mr Bell said.

This event follows refugee forums sponsored by the SJA and has support from the local secondary schools as part of the establishment of Junior Social Justice Advocates in each of the four schools. Anyone wanting to get involved, including hosting a family, contact Gavin Bell on 0411 564120.