Calls for powerful poetry

SUPPORT: The Compassion and Justice for Refugees (CJR) Group are encouraging the community to submit their poetry for refugee week.
SUPPORT: The Compassion and Justice for Refugees (CJR) Group are encouraging the community to submit their poetry for refugee week.

Poems are welcome from Whyalla as the Refugee Council of Australia celebrates June 20 until the following Saturday as Refugee Week.

The event is Australia's peak annual activity to inform the public about refugees and their struggles.

Ballina region Rural Australians for Refugees (BRAR) is holding its third annual poetry prize during the week, with this year's theme being "Time for ahome".

The BRAR Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize celebrates the positive contributions that refugees make to our communities.

It acknowledges the circumstances that forced them to flee their homeland and request refuge in Australia. This year's theme is 'Time for a home.' Compassion and Justice for Refugees spokesperson Jenny Knodylas encouraged residents to enter and support the idea of giving refugees a home.

"Poems, that consider the experiences, aspirations and hope of refugees and asylum seekers seeking a home in which to build new, meaningful and safe lives, are welcome," she said.

Up to three poems of as much as fifty lines each can be submitted, with the deadline on Sunday, August 15.

You can submit up to three poems of up to fifty lines each. They can be sent until the closing date of Sunday 15th August. Entry is free and is open to anyone living in Australia. The BRAR especially welcomes poems from refugees seeking asylum.

"Whyalla was the first centre in Australia to welcome refugees and sponsor them until they were independent," Ms Kondylas said.

"You may have been one of the generous people who helped the new arrivals settle into our community or someone who visited refugees in Woomera or Baxter.

"If you have a story to tell and are willing to set it to rhyme why not have a try!"

Cash prizes will be awarded to first ($500), second ($150) and third ($50) place winners. Winning entries and selected runners up will be published in Social Alternatives. More information at br4r.org.au/poetry-comp/.