26.5 C
Byron Shire
April 15, 2021

Lismore locals shaking off refugee tag

Latest News

Sally Flannery discovers dark side of ‘Lovemore’

Since declaring her interest in running for Lismore Council, local woman Sally Flannery has been subjected to sustained attacks, both online and upon her property.

Other News

Byron and Ballina secure funds from Coastal and Estuary Grants

A coastal hazard assessment study and a coastal management program will be funded as the NSW Government announces over $100,000 for Byron and Ballina Shire Councils under the 2020-21 Coastal and Estuary Grants Program.

SCU named as partner in two national drought hubs

Southern Cross University has been announced as playing a crucial partnership role in two new Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs.

Mullum’s lilac house the subject of Change.org petition

The plight of a Mullum resident has touched the hearts and injustice buttons of people far and wide who feel that a requirement that she repaint her house a heritage colour and possibly pay a fine, not only ridiculous but also petty.

ALP puts war power reform on the agenda

The Australian Labor Party will hold a public inquiry into how Australia goes to war if elected to government next year.

Empanadas and community spirit in wake of cancelled Bluesfest

With a collective sigh of disbelief and disappointment we processed the news that Bluesfest was cancelled

Francis Cloake in running for National Portrait Prize

Byron Bay's Francis Cloake is one of two Northern Rivers photographers named as a finalist in the prestigious Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize.

One of the faces of the new campaign, Cassie Aguot was born in Kenya and is a proud mum. She came to Lismore in 2005
One of the faces of the new campaign, Cassie Aguot was born in Kenya and is a proud mum. She came to Lismore in 2005

When does a refugee start to identify as a local? A series of posters explores that question in a new Lismore-based initiative for national Refugee Week (June 19 to 25), led by the St Vincent de Paul Society and Southern Cross University.

The ‘I’m a local’ poster project features seven refugees who now identify as locals. Three of them – John Mapatano, Anthony Leju and Cassie Aguot – are studying at Southern Cross University.

The aim of the project is to celebrate those people who came to Lismore as refugees, and to acknowledge their contributions to our community.

‘When does the refugee tag fall away? It’s a process, it’s a discussion, and it’s worldwide,’ said Leandro Mendes, Migrant Settlement Worker at St Vincent de Paul Society Lismore.

‘People who come here as refugees go through the process of being settled. But concurrently there’s also the process of the mainstream community looking, treating and interacting with them as people rather than with the refugee badge attached.’

Most of the people featured in the posters have been living in Lismore for six years or more. The youngest child featured, Aguil Deng, was born here.

‘I am a local,’ said Cassie Aguot (pictured) who was born in Kenya and came to Lismore in 2005. ‘I love being able to take my child to childcare just around the corner from my place. I am qualified and work as an Assistant in Nursing.’

Ms Aguot was born in Kenya and came to Lismore in 2005. Moving for a short while to Adelaide, Cassie became homesick for Lismore and came back here to live. She is a member of a local basketball team and is currently studying the ‘Preparing For Success’ tertiary preparation program at Southern Cross University.

Mr Mendes said identifying as a local was about establishing a sense of belonging.

‘The people in our posters already feel the connection to the Lismore community. They are proud to be here. Being part of a place is to be engaged with the day-to-day – whether it’s work, school, church, or the bakery around the corner. That’s being settled in action. It’s not an abstract concept. It’s very simple, tangible things.’

Rob Cumings, project coordinator at the University’s Equity and Diversity Office, said it was a positive project to be involved in.

‘It is impressive how engaged these people are with the community. All of them are involved in local sports teams, volunteering, working, studying. They really are taking every opportunity to benefit from being here in Lismore.’

Refugee Week is an annual, national event to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.

The theme for 2017 Refugee Week is ‘With courage let us all combine’.

You can find the posters around Lismore during Refugee Week.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

SCU named as partner in two national drought hubs

Southern Cross University has been announced as playing a crucial partnership role in two new Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs.

ALP puts war power reform on the agenda

The Australian Labor Party will hold a public inquiry into how Australia goes to war if elected to government next year.

Help from Red Cross for flood-affected communities in NSW

With disasters coming thick and fast as the climate emergency worsens, Australian Red Cross this morning launched financial help for flood-affected communities in NSW.

Rocky Creek Field Day coming in July

As part of the Rural Landholder Initiative, rural landholders in the Rocky Creek area are invited to an Off-stream Watering and Riparian Habitat Field Day.