Actor Madeleine West becomes an ambassador for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in campaign that shares the stories of refugees

Australian actor, Madeleine West, has become an ambassador for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC). West takes part in the ASRC’s latest campaign which gives former refugees and people seeking asylum a platform to tell their stories.

The stories shared in the campaign focus on the storyteller’s experience building a new life in Australia and their hopes for the future, rather than the war-torn countries they fled.

The campaign aims to celebrate the people that Australians would encounter every day – at work, on public transport or in line at a cafe.

Kon Karapanagiotidis, ASRC founder and CEO, said the campaign challenges people to find positive connections with the stories of former refugees and people seeking asylum.

“The great majority of Australians have not had the privilege of meeting someone seeking asylum first-hand. We know that sharing stories helps us connect over our shared values and humanity and this is what helps to change minds. Our campaign challenges people to connect through positively-framed and forward-looking stories of hope, dreams and contribution to see refugees and people seeking asylum as fellow Australians who contribute to the fabric of our multicultural society,” Karapanagiotidis said.

“Our community of Melbourne (and indeed Australia) is a proudly multicultural community and recognises the power of opportunity. As a nation we should always stand with those who are in pursuit of their dreams, peace and basic human dignity. It’s through our diversity that we find unity.”

One subject of the campaign is Fadak Alfayadh, who describes coming to Australia from Baghdad as a refuge and then growing up to become a lawyer.

West commented: “You cannot discount the incredible resilience demonstrated by refugees and people seeking asylum and the collective contribution they have made to our multicultural communities and Australia’s story of progress.

“The greatest gift we can give is to treat others with kindness, respect, compassion and understanding, regardless of colour, creed, orientation or their background. Because when we open our hearts and arms to embrace those who came to our shores seeking peace and a better life for themselves and their families, then together we build a more inclusive, empowered and progressive community for us all.

“We pride ourselves on being ‘The Lucky Country’ – a land of opportunity and freedom. It’s about time we lived up to that name, and we all have a part to play.”

Abdul Razzaq is also featured in the campaign. Razzaq has been seeking Asylum in Australia since 2013. In his film, Razzaq describes finding a sense of community in the All Nations Social Cricket Team that he founded.

The digital campaign will be supported by a community partnership with Yarra Trams, which will display portraits of refugees and people seeking asylum on the exterior of the trams.

The partnership has occurred as a part of the Yarra Trams Community Partnerships Program which provides $1m of free advertising to community organisations that make a positive impact on the diversity of Melbourne.

The campaign execution that will appear on Yarra Trams in Melbourne


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