Refugee Week is taking place from 18 -24 June to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions they make to Australian society.

Coinciding with World Refugee Day (20 June), this year’s theme will once again be “With courage let us all combine” which celebrates the courage of refugees and of people who speak out against persecution and injustice. It serves as a call for unity and for positive action, encouraging Australians to improve our nation’s welcome for refugees and to acknowledge the skills and energy refugees bring to their new home.

Recognising the importance of universal health coverage is vital to support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Refugees face significant physical and mental health challenges through experiencing hardships and inequities.

“Nurses have arguably been at the forefront of caring and working with those who are most vulnerable and disempowered, and have often had to fill the gap where no other profession is willing or potentially able to work,” ACN Chief Executive Officer, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said.

Nurses are helping to achieve the SDGs by providing good quality health care and promoting wellbeing, but also by advocating for quality education, reducing poverty and promoting gender equality – all of which are SDGs – through their work.

ACN is a member of the Migrant and Refugee Women’s Health Partnership that supports provision of accessible and culturally appropriate care within medical practice. It also promotes enhanced flow of information to migrant and refugee women with credible and authoritative guidance on key issues for preventive health and informed treatment.

“All refugees and asylum seekers should receive quality holistic health care that addresses their physical and mental health needs and which includes health promotion and illness prevention regardless of their visa status,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.

More information can be found at the Refugee Week website

More information can be found  about  Migrant and Refugee Women’s Health Partnership here.


For interviews, please contact Narelle Barrie, Executive Assistant to CEO on 02 6283 3459, 0450 908 920 or email

For more information, please contact Carolyn Stapleton, Manager – Policy and Advocacy on 0448 017 194 or email