Music and sport help refugees feel at home [audio]
For refugees escaping persecution in their homeland, adjusting to Australian culture can be difficult.
Refugee inclusion groups in Brisbane are using sport and music to break down social barriers, not only between refugees and the Australian community, but also between separate cultures within the refugee community.
Brisbane Women’s Volleyball coach Mandy Cox said sporting clubs provided an environment where refugees could build social skills which are often not developed while growing up in refugee camps.
She said sport can break down conflict between different religions and cultures as the team bonds towards a common cause.
Lifeline Social Inclusion team leader, Brian Procopis said he used music to bridge social gaps and promote self expression in the refugee community. He said music aided in the trauma healing process as it enabled refugees to talk about their experience living with poverty and war.
Mr Procopis said music and sport provided hope and direction for people who have grown up living in poverty and war.