Walk Together June 23The refugee debate in Australia is being used by both sides of politics to score cheap political points, so it's time we offered a positive message that has the power to reshape the debate.

Australia is a nation of tolerance and respect, but for more than a decade we've been subjected to inflammatory and divisive political debate around those who come to our country seeking asylum. We need to combat the negativity and remind ourselves and our political leaders that what makes Australia great is its rich tapestry of people.

This week is Refugee Week, and Welcome to Australia movement have organised 'Walk Together'. This Saturday 23 June, tens of thousands of us will come together to celebrate a more inclusive Australia. Look below to find your local event:


Where: Begins at Macquarie St, Martin place and ends at Belmore Park opposite Central Station.
When: 1pm
Info: Bring a picnic rug and food and drink to share, as speakers, singers, dancers will join us for the Welcome Party at Belmore Park! Speakers will include: MC Janice Petersen (SBS World News Australia), The Hon. Linda Burney MP (Member for Canterbury), Najeeba Wazefadost (Refugee Advocate), Ali Faraj (AFL NSW/ACT), Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens Senator for South Australia).


Where: Meet at Parliament House (Spring St). Walking to Piazza Italia in Argyle Square, Lygon St, Carlton.
When: 1pm


Where: Meet at Stage 88, Commonwealth Park. Walking to Reconciliation Place in front of Old Parliament House.
When: 1pm


Where: Meet at the Welcome Fiesta at The Esplanade Reserve, Marine Tce, Fremantle. Walking through the centre of Fremantle and back to the Fiesta.
When: 1pm


Where: Meet at the Northern end of Victoria Square, and together we'll walk down King William Street to the Elder Park rotunda
When: 1pm
Info: At the Elder Park rotunda there will be a multicultural festival with speakers, singers and dancers. Speaking at the event will be: Premier Jay Weatherill, Khadija Gbla (Young South Australian of the Year 2011), Lieutenant Governor Hieu Van Le, Brad Chilcott (Director of Welcome to Australia).


Where: Meet at the Skills Institute (TAFE) Campbell Street. The walk will finish with speakers at Princess Wharf Shed.
When: 1pm


Where: Meet at St Mary's Cathedral, 90 Smith Street, and we'll walk to Christ Church Cathedral / Civic Park.
When: 12pm


Where: Meet at Central promenade, 133 Wharf Rd Newcastle, and we'll walk to the Maritime museum (near the Welcome Wall),
When: 1pm
Info: At the museum there'll be speakers and entertainment. You can see a Map here.


Where: Meet at the corner of Herries and Victoria Street, walking to the village Green of City Hall on Ruthven Street.
When: 1pm


Where: Meet at the PCYC, Bridge Street, North Rockhampton and walking to the River Front by Saigon.
When: 1pm


The Lantern Parade for Refugees was held on Friday June 8. Over 4000 people walked together from Southbank by the light of beautiful homemade lanterns - if you were there, thank you! Check out coverage of the event by Weekend Sunrise here. Photos of the event should be up on this website soon.