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Refugee Portraits Exhibition at Effective Living Centre

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by Julia Wakefield (subscribe)
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Come and celebrate the story and life of our refugees
Joseph, Australian Refugee Association, Refugees, refugee Week
Portrait of Joseph by Kirsten Treloar

An unusual art exhibition opened on Friday May 30th at the Effective Living Centre in King William Rd, Wayville. This is the first of a number of venues that will host Faces of a Refugee Story, a collection of portraits of 14 former refugees who are staff members, volunteers or clients at the Australian refugee Centre. They are by artists Kirsten Treloar, Sue Thompson and Murtaza Hussaini.
Murtaza Hussaini, refugees, refugee week
Murtaza Hussaini

Kirsten Treloar had the idea for a portrait exhibition during the 2013 Refugee week. "I had exhibited in cafes before, but I wanted to find a way to do my art with more of a purpose. I realised that it was the humanity of these people that needed to be highlighted, to draw people's attention to their situation. I wanted to bring human faces to the plight of refugees, and to give my portrait subjects the opportunity to show how it has been for them, by telling their stories".

In partnership with her friend Sue Thompson, Kirsten approached the Australian Refugee Association (ARA) and was able to meet and interview a number of former refugees. They all told her their stories, which she has transcribed almost word for word and published in a booklet that will be available at the exhibition. In addition, she encouraged one of the former refugees, Murtaza Hussaini, to become involved in the project. 'He's in year 12, so he didn't have much time, but he's been able to produce one portrait for the exhibition', she said. Murtaza is also a Youth ambassador for the ARA.
portraits, refugees
Rachel' by Sue Thompson

The exhibition continues until June 13th. Hours are: Saturday 31st May 2 – 5pm, Friday 6th June 10 am – 3 pm, Saturday 7th June 12 – 5pm & Friday 13 June 10am - 3pm .
Contact: Julia Lim Phone: (08) 8271 0329 / 0421 794 505 Email: /

After it leaves the Effective Living Centre, the exhibition will continue at the Op shop at the Australian Refugee Association on Henley Beach road in Underdale from June 15 – 21, during Refugee Week. On June 21 there will be a Garage Sale at the site of the Op Shop (which closes on June 14th) as a fundraiser for the Australian Refugee Association (ARA) to celebrate Refugee Week. Furniture,household goods, books, toys, clothes and much more will be on offer.

The exhibition can be seen at three other venues later in the year: at JOHN DAVIS MUSIC Shop, 1/15 Vaughan Place, Adelaide from 10th - 30th July, at THE MAWSON CENTRE FOYER , 2-8 Main Street, Mawson Lakes during SALA from August 1 – 24, and at THE GREEN ROOM CAFÉ, High Street, Willunga, from September 2nd - 27th.
All details of these exhibitions can be found on the ARA website.

Other ARA activities during Refugee Week include:

On Tuesday 17th June from 10-3pm, 'Restoring Hope, a Journey from Then to Now,' a Refugee Week Schools Conference, will be hosted by The Australian Refugee Association and The University of Adelaide. It will take place in the Napier Building, The University of Adelaide. This promises to be a collaborative and engaging day of guest speakers, discussions and activities that will take school students through the history and stories of those who have travelled to Australia seeking a new life over many generations. It will also give students the opportunity to meet and make friends with other students from various cultural backgrounds and schools all over South Australia.
George Newhouse
George Newhouse, Human rights lawyer

On Friday 20th June George Newhouse, an Australian human rights lawyer, political activist and former Mayor of Waverley in NSW, will explore the topic "Will Manus be Australia's Sabra and Shatila?" at 7pm for a 7:30pm start at Elder Hall, Adelaide University. Newhouse advocates for the release of children from detention; he has represented asylum seekers on Nauru and the survivors and relatives of those who died in the Christmas Island Boat Tragedy.

Admission is free but seats are limited so bookings are essential.
To book,please email
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Why? See the faces of refugees and read their stories
When: May 30 to June 13th and during Refugee Week, June 15 - 21
Phone: 08) 8271 0329 / 0421 794 505
Where: Effective Living Centre, 26 King William Road, Wayville SA
Cost: Free
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