As a tribute to United Nations Day, the Kiama Welcomes Refugees group has organised a free concert, bringing together locals and refugees now living in the Illawarra to highlight the plight of displaced people around the world.
The program will include performances by a Karenni Dance group formed by refugees from Myanmar, and an Armenian classical guitarist, Sako Dermenjian.
The two choirs taking part, the Illawarra Union Singers and local choir Accord, will be performing their acclaimed original song, Asylum Seekers.
Popular local performers – Penny Hartgerink, JukeBoy Emmett, and John LIttrich and the Water Runners -have volunteered to perform at the concert. They will be joined by performers from Wollongong – folk singer Michael Cox and female vocalist Shabnam.
Gerringong’s John Littrich says, “All of us in the Water Runners are very much aware of the plight of refugees and urge our government to adopt policies that treat refugees with compassion and respect.
“My dad came to Australia after World War II as a refugee from Europe. We are very pleased to be part of the One World Concert.”
The program will include talks from refugees and refugee advocates.
Speaking about the refugee experience will be men who have found sanctuary in Australia: Bahram Hashemi, whose family fled persecution in Iran to live in Kiama, and Burhan Zangana, a Kurd from Iraq, who escaped mines, tanks and barbed wire for a peaceful life in Wollongong helping other refugees.
The MC will be Simon Hinton, Artistic Director and CEO of the Merrigong Theatre Company, known for his involvement in refugee issues. Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees AM, human rights activist and author, will speak on the United Nations Day theme.
A collection will be taken for SCARF, which gives assistance to refugee families in the Illawarra.
Details: Sat 22 Oct,
Hindmarsh Park, 1-4pm