It’s Refugee Week 2021 and we’d like to acknowledge the rich contribution that refugees make to our society.
We’re big believers in the power of diversity and giving every person, every chance. It is a privilege to support our refugee customers as they journey towards participating fully in all aspects of Australian life.
Meet Thierno Bah
In his home country of Guinea, West Africa, Thierno Bah (pictured left) was a professional drummer and dancer. He performed with some of Guinea’s top drumming and dancing groups.
In 2019 he came to Australia, leaving behind Guinea’s struggles with economic and social instability. In the small country, claims of corruption are widespread and citizens struggle to access education and other basics like telecommunications.
After arriving in Australia, Thierno started afresh with his own drumming and dance business in the Hunter region, Drumming and Dance with Thierno.
Thierno is currently studying English with MAX in Mayfield, New South Wales.
Meet Ven Bhakdo
While his robes might pique the interest of passers-by on the streets of his now hometown, Newcastle, Ven Bhakdo’s (pictured right) life story is worthy of more than a second glance.
A Tibetan national, Bhakdo is a survivor of years of political imprisonment in China.
After being freed, Bhakdo fled to India in 1991. Since then, he has travelled the world to raise awareness and advocate for the freedom of his people.
He has written a biography and fifteen other books.
As well as being an activist and writer, Bhakdo is an accomplished throat singer. He honed this skill – a traditional means of preparing the mind for meditation – over a four-year period in Tibet. Buddhists believe that throat singing brings good spirit and energy.
Bhakdo arrived in Australia as a refugee in 2019. He now calls Newcastle home and is studying English with the MAX team at Mayfield through the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).
We’re delighted to support both Thierno and Bhakdo as they journey into Australian life and ensure they are empowered to share their knowledge and culture with their new community.
To find out more about our Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) contact our team.
To find out more about Refugee Week, visit Home - Refugee Week