2022 NSW Humanitarian Awards “exemplify values vital to well-being of our State”


MEDIA RELEASE: The NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) will present the 14th edition of the NSW Humanitarian Awards on Tuesday 5 July, in partnership with the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA).

The NSW Humanitarian Awards acknowledge and thank those people who have made an exceptional positive contribution towards refugee and asylum seeker issues in New South Wales.

The 2022 Awards will be presented officially by Patron of STARTTS, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales, in an official ceremony to take place at Government House, Sydney.

Ahead of the Awards Her Excellency said, “It is always a special honour to host the NSW Humanitarian Awards at Government House, recognizing those individuals and organisations who, through their tireless efforts supporting refugees and asylum seekers in our community, exemplify values vital to the well-being of our State: compassion, inclusivity, and looking out for each other.”

STARTTS CEO, Jorge Aroche said, “Once again, we have the privilege of being able to recognize the extraordinary work of people from various backgrounds, including many with lived experience, to enhance the healing journey of refugees settling in NSW. This is particularly important now, given that that the last twelve months have sadly been characterized by a plethora of severe humanitarian crises.

It is most fitting that this recognition is being awarded by Her Excellency at the place that best symbolizes our commitment to civic society. It is a great and much needed boost to the incredibly resourceful people that make our refugee resettlement program work so well.”

Deputy CEO of Refugee Council of Australia, Adama Kamara said, “The NSW Humanitarian Awards are an important recognition that we all have a role in welcoming refugees to our community. From business, media, sport, education, legal and government services – the Humanitarian Awards acknowledge exceptional efforts to support new arrivals to thrive in their new homes.

The Awards also embody what Refugee Week is about by celebrating the positive contributions of people who themselves have been refugees and work tirelessly to support people to rebuild their lives in Australia.”

Refugee Week was celebrated from 19-25 June with hundreds of events taking place throughout June across the state around the theme of “HEALING”. The theme is a powerful reminder that regardless of our differences, we all share a humble need for acceptance and to heal.

“Healing happens when organisations such as STARTTS provide counselling and psychotherapy, but more importantly, healing happens on a level of a community,” said President of Refugee Council of Australia and STARTTS Community Services Coordinator, Jasmina Bajraktarevic-Hayward at the launch of Refugee Week.

“Every time you show empathy, every time you listen, and every time you appreciate those of us who have come here as refugees, you have contributed to our healing. It is important to do so, because healing doesn’t happen in isolation, it happens through the community. And we are the community that can provide healing.”

Refugee Week is organised by the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) Australia’s peak national body for refugees and people seeking asylum and the organisations that serve them.

The official 2022 NSW Humanitarian Awards Ceremony will be livestreamed from Government House, Sydney on Tuesday July 5 at 4:00pm AEST via STARTTS Facebook Page

/Public Release.