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With Refugee Week just past (19 – 25 June), award winning playwright and Booked Outer Hannie Rayson has penned a timely piece on multicultural Dandenong for the Sydney Morning Herald’s Spectrum section.
Both Mariam and Abdi fled Somalia as refugees, and since their arrival in Australia have made a real difference within the Melbourne community.
In 2012, Mariam started her organisation Resilient Aspiring Women, which aims to celebrate women and diversity and to assist women to nurture, connect, and engage in cross-cultural conversations.
Abdi has been a Youth Worker for over 13 years, and was the recipient of the 2007 Victorian Refugee Recognition Award. Abdi was also involved in the SBS documentary series, Go Back to Where You Came From.
Dandenong is one Victoria’s 40 official Refugee Welcome Zones, with 2200 migrants settling there each year, and is now the home of 3000 asylum seekers – the highest population of refugees in Victoria.