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Refugee Week 2016: making a difference

When they come to Australia most refugees and asylum seekers bring with them skills, strengths, and hope for a better future. Here are some stories of refugees making a difference in their community-and some easy ways you can make a difference too.

Refugee Week is an annual celebration of the diversity and positive contribution that refugees and asylum seekers bring to their communities in Australia and coincides with World Refugee Day (20 June).

We all have a contribution to make and this year we're celebrating the many ways refugees and asylum seekers are making a difference in their communities as leaders, volunteers and contributors.

Refugee stories: making a difference in Australia

Sarmed from Shepparton: "It's the least I could do"
Sarmed was ten years old when he arrived in Australia with his family, looking for a safer future. He's now a leader in his community in regional Victoria and is inspiring a new generation of kids to contribute to theirs. Read more »

Ali from Brisbane: "I just wanted to give something back to Australian society"
After arriving in Australia from Iran in 2012, Ali wanted to give something back to the community that embraced him. Now, he volunteers with Red Cross' emergency services and helps communities prepare for disasters. Read more »

Tara from Adelaide: "It's about giving people hope"
Tara was greeted by two Red Cross staff members at Adelaide airport seven months after fleeing Iran. She never guessed that one day she'd be working alongside them. Read more »

Elaheh from Melbourne: "This country and its people helped to make me stronger"
Elaheh left Iran with a promise to make a stand for those who have no voice. Now in Australia, she's studying for a PhD in public health to help improve the quality of people's lives. She also volunteers for Red Cross. Read more »

Simon from Canberra: "Cooking for the community is my passion"
Sri Lanka's civil war took away Simon's family business and took him from his home. But after moving to Canberra, a twist of fate led to Simon reigniting his passion for cooking. Read more »

Make a difference: 5 ways you can help refugees in your community

Help refugees and asylum seekers in your community

Australia is one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world and there are many things you can do to make your community an even more welcoming, more supportive and more inclusive place to live.

You could offer someone practical help to settle in, show someone how to access the local services, help them to learn or practice English, or help to establish friendships and networks.

Here's five easy things you can do to help refugees and asylum seekers where you live.

How Red Cross makes a difference

Red Cross' Migration Support Programs assist refugees, asylum seekers, people in detention centres, people who may have been trafficked or forced into marriage, people who've been separated from their loved ones and other people who are vulnerable as a result of migration.

We work with people regardless of how they arrived in Australia and regardless of their immigration status because we believe that everyone deserves the right to dignity and respect.

Find out how Red Cross is making a difference to the lives of refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants.

To help us, you can donate to our work supporting refugees and asylum seekers in crisis.

Make a difference in your community

Here's five easy things you can do to help refugees and people seeking asylum where you live.