7.6 C
Byron Shire
June 25, 2022

Lismore locals shaking off refugee tag

Latest News

Building hei(s)(gh)ts

I also strongly agree with David Gilet and Paul McCarthy on the creeping cancer of increased building heights/heists in...

Other News

Fairness in IR

The righteous outrage emanating from the western political class and its mass media over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine might...

Yacht ran aground inside Ballina bar

On Saturday afternoon at around 2.15pm a yacht ran aground just inside the Ballina bar with three people on board.

Missing teenager found

Police say a thirteen-year-old girl reported missing from Tweed Heads earlier this week has been found safe and well.

Charity bike ride resumes

They had their bikes stolen, faced a major natural disaster, and one rider injured her knee in a fall. But it still wasn't enough enough to stop the Ocean Pools Odyssey charity bike ride from completing its mission.


Danny Wakil demonstrates as much knowledge of the facts on the ground in Palestine/Israel as a duck knows of...

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 22 June, 2022

The Northern Rivers Conservatorium Executive Director, Anita Bellman, is thrilled to announce that there will be free tickets for all flood-affected members of our community to attend the NRC 2022 Visiting Artist program, made possible with the support of our friends at Musica Viva and Southern Cross University.

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Palestine’s ‘terra nullius’ and children’s body armour

Firstly, the Zionist regime of Israel is an apartheid regime. It is based on the dispossession, expropriation, expulsion and oppression of the Palestinian people. This...

Lismore council flirts with ‘koala-killer’ status

The fate of one of the state’s last koala populations appears to lie in the hands of the Lismore City Council after an extraordinary meeting Thursday afternoon.

Suspected Tweed Heads meth lab dismantled

Specialist police units along with NSW Fire and Rescue have been dismantling an alleged meth lab in Tweed Heads this morning, police said.

Hydro cannabis bust in Tweed

Police have confiscated equipment they say was being used for a hydroponic cannabis station set up in a Tweed Heads garage.