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2016: Seeking Safe Haven: The Refugee's Plight

The 68th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

10th December 2016


The 68th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was celebrated at the Shirley Burke theatre in Parkdale on Saturday December 10th 2016. The theme for the evening was Seeking Safe Haven: Plight of the World’s Refugees 2016 which was based around Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”

Guest Speaker


Guest speaker was William Kelly OAM. Mr Kelly is an International Artist, Humanist and Human Rights activist internationally renowned for his peace activities. His work strongly addresses the ideas and ideals of community and the power of art to contribute to cultural change Mr Kelly is a former dean of the Victorian College of Arts and a guest lecturer at Yale, Oxford and Cambridge universities, as well as other institutions in Europe, South Africa, US, Eastern Europe and Australia. Kelly is a recipient of the Coat of Arms of the City of Guernica, Spain, and he is the only visual artist to be given the prestigious Courage of Conscience Award (Boston, US). Other recipients include Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Muhammad Ali and John Lennon. Mr Kelly has exhibited in Sydney, Cologne, New York City, Melbourne and in over 20 countries including Japan, England, Sweden and is in public collections including National Gallery of Australia, United Nations Collection (Geneva, Switzerland), New South Wales State Library, Museum (Spain), Museum of Modern Art at Heide (Melbourne), Durban Art Gallery (South Africa), Victorian Art Centre (Melbourne), Queensland Art Gallery and others.

Documentary screening

Following the guest speaker was a screening of the Australian documentary “When Mary Meets Muhammad”. This film tells the story of a refugee who arrives into Australia’s first detention centre in Tasmania. It shows ordinary people meeting and getting to know each other as persons, and breaking through prejudices.

Guest Musician

Warren Wills entertained at the piano playing a repertoire from popular musicals and popular classics. Warren is a talented Australian composer and musician who also supports disadvantaged children in London and Australia with free musical theatre programs that are socially inclusive and find a common ground. He is presently collaborating with Les Twentyman in a program with physically and intellectually disadvantaged young Teens, from Melbourne’s Western Suburbs, which will culminate with a world premiere performance on 12 October 2017 at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College’s theatre.

Annual Children’s Art Competition

The prizes for the Annual Children’s Art competition donated by Mordialloc-Mentone Lions Club were presented to the winners at the beginning of the evening. The Children’s Art competition is a vital component of the event, as KFHR believes that the best hope for a harmonious society is by ensuring the next generation is empowered to make the changes needed in the world. All entries were exhibited for two months in the Shirley Burke Gallery.

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