Sue Ellery

Sue Ellery

Minister for Child Protection; Communities; Women's Interests; Seniors and Volunteering

    Young WA refugees paint memories of home

    13/06/2008 12:00 AM

    A 15-year-old Burmese girl’s memory of escaping persecution with her family before settling in Perth has been captured on canvas and is among the artwork on display to mark Refugee Week.


    Communities Minister Sue Ellery said an art exhibition funded by the State Government featured paintings and photographs of ‘home’ by young refugees living in Western Australia.


    “The exhibition at the Perth Concert Hall was created to give these young people the opportunity to share their incredible experiences and to generate within the community a greater understanding of the refugee experience,” Ms Ellery said.


    “The artwork has been contributed by refugees aged between 10 and 18 years who attend the Edmund Rice Centre in Mirrabooka and the intensive English centres at Balga Senior High School and North Lake Senior Campus.


    “Students from Balga and North Lake chose to tell their stories through canvas, while students from the Edmund Rice Centre were given disposable cameras to capture day-to-day scenes of their new home in Perth.


    “The artworks are poignant and sometimes funny and a wonderful insight into the lives of these young people, their families and friends.”


    Balga Senior High School student Hsar Eh Khu is a Karen-speaking Burmese girl who came to Perth with her family last year.  Her memories of a refugee camp in Thailand where she lived for 10 years after escaping Burma are portrayed in a triptych.


    Hsar Eh said one of her earliest childhood memories of Burma was of being frightened as she fled from soldiers carrying guns.


    Although she sometimes still dreamt of the fighting, she was enjoying her new life in Australia and the freedom that it had given her family.


    The Minister said the exhibition was particularly significant for WA in which 25 per cent of the population was born overseas - the largest proportion among all the States and Territories.


    ‘A Place to Call Home’ exhibition will be on display at the Perth Concert Hall during Refugee Week from June 15 to 21.


    Minister's office - 9213 7150