CANBERRA, Australia, 20 June: The UN Refugee Day Agency, UNHCR, is today marking World Refugee Day with a global campaign aimed at promoting tolerance and understanding of refugees.
UNHCR is highlighting the plight of the 42.5 million forcibly displaced people around the world, and the horrific dilemmas faced by refuges who are often forced to choose between risking their lives in war zone or fleeing and risking family separation and loss of their livelihoods.
The global campaign includes community service announcement by UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie which notes “nobody chooses to become a refugee”, as well as a new smartphone app, “My Life as a Refugee”, which brings to life the refugee experience and highlights some of the life-changing decisions and consequences faced by millions of refugees worldwide. These and other resources are available at www.unhcr.org.au
In Canberra, UNHCR has today announced the first six winners of its 2012 Schools Art Contest at a special World Refugee Breakfast.
From over 250 entries, the judges had the difficult task of selecting just six to showcase on World Refugee Day.
Ranging from Year 5 to Year 12, the six winning entries managed to capture the theme of World Refugee Day – “One refugee without hope is too many” – while displaying great artistic and creative skill.
“A great deal of classroom discussion and thought on these important issues is reflected in the artworks,” UNHCR Regional Representative Richard Towle said today.
“It is heartening to see the empathy, compassion and solidarity that exists in large parts of the Australian community towards refugees who have been forcibly displaced by war, conflict and persecution all around the world.”
Over one hundred entered works are being exhibited in the public space at the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre from Tuesday 19 June to Monday 25 June (entry is free).
The remaining six winners will be announced each month on UNHCR’s web site, gradually unfolding the finished product: UNHCR’s 2013 Calendar.
The list of winners follows and their art and descriptions are attached.
2012 Art Competition Winners:
Griffin Upchurch, Year 5, International School of WA, City Beach, Western Australia.
Charlotte Gillman, Year 6, Nepean Christian School, Mulgoa, New South Wales.
Maya Welsch, Year 6, Spensley St Primary School, Clifton Hill, Victoria.
Makenzie McFarlane, Year 11, Kincoppal Rose-Bay School, New South Wales.
Sophie Ellen Newman, Year 10, Caritas College, Port Augusta, South Australia.
Mirela Kadric, Year 12, Liverpool Girls High School, New South Wales