June 18, 2015

The Happiest Refugee

The Happiest Refugee is the memoir of well-known comedian Anh Do. It’s the story of Ahn’s journey by sea from Vietnam and his account of growing up in Australia. Anh’s story appeals to all ages including our Year 9’s who are studying the text this year. Many know Anh’s story but there are many other personal refugee narratives which are equally tragic yet inspiring and full of hope.

This week is Refugee Week (14th -20th June) – a time when we can appreciate the contribution that refugees and immigrants make to our nation in the areas of social development, cultural diversity and who connect us to other parts of the world.

At this time we can remember the fifty million refugees who still remain displaced and the 3500 asylum seekers who remain in detention centres in Australia, Nauru and Manus Island which sadly include 227 children.

This week we can take the time to reflect on how we can make a difference to who are given residency in Australia each year, some of whom live in our community and attend Mordialloc College. We can encourage our children to be welcoming and supportive of these students and new neighbours and appreciate what Australia has to offer: free public health care, a welfare system, equal opportunity but most importantly friendship and a sense of belonging.

Lana Paten