Today, 79.5 million people are displaced around the world, according to UNHCR’s latest figures released this week. The need to mark World Refugee Day and raise awareness of the challenges facing refugees has never been higher.


With physical distancing, our annual World Refugee Day event was online for the first time ever, opening up the celebrations to our incredible supporters right across the country. The event raised over $150,000 to support UNHCR’s coronavirus response, protecting refugees and displaced people from the spread of COVID-19.

Our special guests reflected on the theme “Everyone can make a difference – Every Action Counts”, showing how even just small steps taken by everyday Australians can have a real impact on the lives of displaced families and children overseas.

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett AC and Australia for UNHCR Special Representative Marta Dusseldorp discussed their roles as ambassadors and importance of sharing refugee stories, and Western Sydney community leader and former South Sudanese refugee Mayor Chagai inspired us all to engage with displaced people in our own community to understand the challenges they’ve faced and resilience we can learn from.

As we come to the close of Refugee Week, there are still plenty of ways you can play your part in spreading the message of Every Action Counts in support of refugees.
National Director naomi Steer and former refugee Mayor Chagai speak at our event

Our National Director Naomi Steer with former South Sudanese refugee Mayor Chagai– two of our wonderful speakers during our World Refugee Day online event © Australia for UNHCR

For Sama: film night // Friday 19th June, 7:30pm-9:30pm

Presented by the Refugee Council of Australia, For Sama is an award-winning film, telling the story of a young Syrian woman Waad al-Kateab and her baby daughter Sama, set against the brutal backdrop of war in Aleppo, Syria. Register here to watch the film at home with your family or friends – a perfect Friday night in!

Run 5, Donate 5, Nominate 5

Get fit, educate your friends and raise money in our latest campaign to support refugees. Run 5km, donate to support 5 refugees and tag 5 friends to do the same. And the best thing – it’s exponential! If everyone you tag takes part and tags five more friends within a week and so on, in just five weeks that’s over $30,000 raised and thousands more people aware of the refugee crisis. Start spreading the movement and sign up here.

Online poetry recital // Friday 19th June, 4pm-5:30pm
Sydney refugees have written short five-line poems about what it means to now call Australia home. Listen to the recital, some in the poet’s traditional language (with English translation). For an afternoon with the well versed, free registration is here

Participants in our Run 5, Donate 5 and Nominate 5 challenge

Make your kilometres count to support refugees. Run, walk or ride 5 kilometres, donate to support 5 refugees and nominate 5 friends to join you. © Australia for UNHCR

Go blue on social media

Add our Facebook frame to your profile picture to show your friends that you’re #WithRefugees.

Refugee Leadership during COVID-19 and Beyond // Friday 19th June, 5pm-7pm
Everyone is welcome to join this refugee-led conference to discuss the needs and advocacy priorities for refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers include refugees from Thai Burma border camps, Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazaar settlements, Iran and Indonesia. Free registration is here.

Create your own event

Don’t see the right event for you? Host your own! Organise your own fundraiser or education session, whether it’s a morning tea, a film night, a cake stall, a fun run with friends, or something else entirely. To register your event, find out more here. We’ll help you every step of the way.

Show your support for refugees on Facebook with our frame

Use our Facebook frame and show your support for refugees on social media © Australia for UNHCR

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You can help

Make a donation

Every donation makes a real and lasting difference in the lives of refugees.

Organise a fundraiser

Host a bake sale, climb a mountain or do a fun run to raise funds for vital aid.