Since 2012, Road to Refuge has been on a mission to change the conversation on seeking refuge and asylum in Australia. We provide a platform to amplify the voices and perspectives of those with lived experience of seeking asylum.
We work with people of refugee backgrounds to reclaim the mainstream discourse about them and reshape it – in their words and on their terms.
We do not speak on behalf of others. Instead, our role is to amplify voices and position stories of lived experience to ensure credible voices are given the platforms they need.
Where we came from
We’ve run comedy debates, Wheeler Centre speaking panels on the intersectionality between seeking refuge and feminism, and the plight of LGBT refugees, conversation training workshops, book clubs, film nights, and Paths to Change – a full-day conference for the refugee sector.
Many people remember us for the Coffee Cup Project. In it’s third year, the project saw over 100,000 coffee cups featuring Layla, whose story highlights the strength, courage and complexities of people seeking refuge.
In 2017, we partnered with Australia’s leading social justice law firm, Maurice Blackburn, to bring Stories About Hope to Melbourne and Sydney. The exhibition explores the human dignity identity and strength in people from refugee backgrounds through photography and short films.
In 2018, we launched our biggest campaign to date. Meet Fadak is a storytelling campaign which aimed to create a cultural shift and humanise refugees. Meet Fadak was Australia’s first refugee-led national speaking tour.
In My Own Words program
In 2019, we launched In My Own Words, a storytelling and capacity building program designed to give young creatives of refugee backgrounds the skills they need to shape their story and have it heard.
We ran a series of workshops which provided the next generation of storytellers with practical skills and supported them to take agency over their own stories.
Our plan for change
In 2019 and beyond, we are committed to:
Sharing the narrative
We believe that the abuse of people seeking asylum begins with narrative – the stories told about them. We believe that change begins when refugees themselves have the ability to use their own stories to advocate and reshape mainstream discourse. So we collaborate with them to make this happen.
Promoting positive change
But in order for this to happen, we acknowledge the circumstances need to change. The space needs to both elevate refugee voices and to create meaningful encounters with refugee voices, perspectives and opinions.
And we know we can’t do this alone. We need to create a movement of people and partnerships, businesses and governments. Therefore, a key priority is to build these networks. To grow our impact, influence and platform reach, together.
Looking to 2020, we will continue to cultivate a community of storytellers, grow our programs, and broaden our reach nationally.