On the same day, youth ‘Out There Sailing’ at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club had to be cancelled due to the poor air quality.

On the 17th, Bellarine for the Refugees organised a welcome lunch, attended by 40 newly-arrived clients from Karen and Karenni, Congolese and Afghan communities.

On the 21st, 70 new arrival families from a refugee background enjoyed a great day swimming and exploring Lorne beach. We would like to thank Highton Rotary Club for supplying the buses, organising volunteers and the delicious lamingtons enjoyed by all for morning tea. The day would not have been possible without your support!

Besides holiday activities, there were other programs for specific communities.

‘Knowing Your Place’ is the name of a program which was designed with the help of Iraqi/Syrian women with the aim of bringing community members together, give them confidence to find and visit new places in Victoria and feel connected with the broader community. On the 22nd of January, Syrian and Iraqi families were given three options: a visit to the Werribee Rose Garden, Stevenson’s Falls or the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. The Royal Botanical Gardens was ultimately chosen. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great with storms and high winds forcing us to leave the garden earlier. Thankfully the Shrine of Remembrance near the gardens was able to host the families for the rest of the time!

A consultation session with young women happened on the 24th. During this session we worked with communities to learn about their strengths and needs. A consultation session can be fun and doesn’t have to be boring! Instead of being in a classroom and just talking about serious stuff, the women decided to add a bit of fun and adventure to the session by holding it at Docklands after visiting the ArtVo Gallery!

Join our adventure with these 3D photos of the group: