Young boy holds soccer ball
© UNHCR/ Kamrul Hasan

World Refugee Day 2023

Join Australia for UNHCR at a special celebration for World Refugee Day on Thursday 15 June.

Past event
Held, 15 June 2023

Join Australia for UNHCR to celebrate the courage and resilience of refugees this World Refugee Day. 

This year our World Refugee Day lunch will be held in Sydney on Thursday 15 June. The event will focus on the transformative power of sport to improve the lives of refugee children, including those who’ve been separated from their families.

ABC sports reporter and broadcaster, Tracey Holmes will host this year’s lunch. She’ll chat to refugees who are kicking goals in many areas of their lives.

Tracey Holmes is an award-winning journalist with extensive experience in radio and television. She currently presents The Ticket podcast on the ABC, an in-depth analysis on the business, politics and governance of sport. 

Tracey was the was Australia’s first female host of a national sports program – ABC Grandstand, and has reported and commentated from many of the world’s biggest events, including more than a dozen Olympic Games.

Tracey has interviewed many refugees who excel at sport, including athletes from the Refugee Olympic Team. 

Tracey Holmes
The World Refugee Day lunch will be hosted by ABC sports broadcaster and reporter Tracey Holmes.

Anyier Yuol is an athlete, academic and former South Sudanese refugee and recently won the 2023 Les Murray Award for Refugee Recognition.

Anyier was born in a refugee camp in Kenya and came to Australia at the age of 10. She excelled at football and represented Australia at the FIFA Football for Hope Festival in 2010. Anyier has also launched a beauty pageant for African-Australian women, started a charity empowering children both here in Australia and in refugee camps overseas, and is undertaking a PhD on bride price practices in South Sudanese communities.

Anyier Yuol
Hear from the 2023 Les Murray Award for Refugee Recognition, Anyier Yuol.

Bendere Oboya came to Australia from Ethiopia as a refugee and is now one our most promising track athletes.  She represented Australia at the Tokyo Olympics competing in both the women's 400 metres and the women's 4 x 400 metre relay. Oboya is one of our brightest prospects for Paris 2024 and is expected to run in the 800 metres. She was just three years old when she came to Australia. Oboya’s father Opamo spent five years in an Ethiopian gaol as a political prisoner; he sought refuge in Australia to give his family a better life.

Bendere Oboya
Australian Olympic track athlete, and former refugee, Bendere Oboya will share her story at the World Refugee Day lunch.