To acknowledge and celebrate Refugee Week 2017, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan are hosting a special screening of the new Australian documentary Constance on the Edge in Sydney on Friday June 23.
Constance on the Edge follows charismatic Constance, mother of six, as she confronts her painful past in war-torn Sudan, and risks everything in Australia so her family can thrive.
Filmed over 10 years in Wagga Wagga, the documentary is described as an unflinchingly honest portrayal of one refugee family’s resettlement story in regional Australia.
“In Africa I was fighting for survival; in the refugee camp I was fighting for human rights; and here in Australia, I’m fighting for belonging,” says Constance Okot.
Constance on the Edge premiered to a sold-out audience at the Sydney Film Festival in June 2016 where it was voted second favourite documentary by the audience.
In November 2016 it launched the Refugee Council of Australia’s first ever Refugee Film Festival in Melbourne.
In March this year the film was a finalist in the Australian Migration and Settlement Awards, in the category of excellence in journalism.
“It’s a film for everybody,” says Director Belinda Mason.
“People have said that the film has really put a human face on the refugee experience and raised their awareness of the situation of refugees.
“Constance on the Edge gives audiences a way into the refugee experience – both the positives and negatives – and lets people get beyond news and media reports that so often dehumanise refugees.”
Sister Catherine McCahill said she was looking forward to the Good Samaritan Sisters’ screening of Constance on the Edge and hoped that the event would help to improve community recognition and understanding of and for refugees.
“Being neighbour is core to our life and ministry as Good Samaritan Sisters. So the plight of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia challenges us profoundly,” said Catherine.
“Hosting an event in Refugee Week is one small way of widening the conversation, of informing ourselves and others of the realities of these women, men and children, and engaging with other Australians who are responding to this critical situation.”
The Refugee Council of Australia is the national coordinator of Refugee Week which will be celebrated between Sunday June 18 and Saturday June 24, 2017.
“Refugee Week is an opportunity to reflect on the courage and contribution of people who have lived the refugee experience,” said Tim O’Connor, spokesperson for the Refugee Council of Australia.
“Constance on the Edge is a testament to the courage required to flee persecution and set up a life in a new land, and the contribution more than 875,000 refugees have made to Australia.”
Good Samaritan Sisters’ screening of Constance on the Edge
Date: Friday June 23, 2017
Venue: St Scholastica’s, Sisters of the Good Samaritan Congregational Centre, 4 Avenue Road Glebe Point, Sydney
RSVP: ASAP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hundreds of other events are being coordinated in the lead-up and throughout Refugee Week by organisations and individuals who support refugees and people seeking asylum, including film screenings, breakfasts, dinners, seminars, talks and a myriad of celebrations recognising the contribution of refugees.
To find out more about Refugee Week and events being held throughout the country, visit www.refugeeweek.org.au