Our #MomentsOfJoy in 2022

December 16, 2022

This difficult year wasn’t without its highlights. We compiled #MomentsOfJoy from 2022, as selected by the Asylum Seekers Centre community.


Our first Family Day

In July, we hosted our first Family Day, which has quickly become one of the most popular events on the ASC calendar. These bi-monthly gatherings provide families with nappies and other baby essentials, while serving lunch and bringing kids together to play. That last point particularly resonates with our community:

“My daughter is not starting daycare or playgroup. It’s only me and her. If there is a family day like this, I like to bring her out so she can play with other kids,” one attendee says.


The story of Abdoulie ‘Busta’ Asim

Abdoulie ‘Busta’ Asim came to Australia with the Gambia team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and stayed, claiming refugee status due to feared religious persecution. Busta then came to Sydney, where he initially lived under a bridge in Parramatta for several days before moving into a homeless shelter and seeking help from the Asylum Seekers Centre.

Four years later, Busta has finally been granted his refugee visa and welcomed a child. Buster is an incredible role model for us all, and we couldn’t be happier for the joy that comes his way.


Our first Job Fair

In October, we hosted our first ever Job Fair. More than 100 people seeking asylum went shopping for jobs and training opportunities. While 16 employers and training providers attended the event and provided information for job-seekers about the roles they are recruiting for and how to get training and support. We also confirmed new partner employers including Harris Farm.

The Fair was the cherry on the cake of this year’s employment program, where we acquired 131 job placements, exceeding the 2021 total of 129, and held 447 hub appointments. 


Rural Australians doing their bit

We’re celebrating our friends from Rural Australians for Refugees. In particular, our dear friends at RAR Bellingen and Nambucca who achieved $17,000 in 2022, a record amount of fundraising. The group held events, including a recent classical concert at Mylestom Hall where they raised $5,000. They’re powerful advocates in their community, holding market stalls every week and advocating loudly for people seeking asylum.



In April, we partnered with Football NSW for a 10-week soccer training program for kids in our community. The program taught football skills to kids ages 4 to 12, but more importantly, connected families and created social networks. Romy, from our Community Engagement team, spoke about the program:

“On the last day we had a ceremony where we made up certificates for each participant. They all got a bag with a soccer ball, a water bottle, some soccer playing cards. And they were just so excited to receive their certificate and just the bright smiles on their faces… And their parents – they were so proud of them. It was just such an amazing moment, seeing what it meant to the whole family and for the kids to be able to participate in something like that.”


The Return of our Volunteer Week celebrations

National Volunteer Week (NVW) is an annual celebration acknowledging the generous contribution of volunteers to our community. This year, it had even more significance, representing a big return to the centre for much of our community following Covid-19 restrictions.

It was a wonderful celebration of the fantastic contribution that our 400+ volunteer community makes to the lives of people seeking asylum.


RAP launch

In November, we were honoured to welcome traditional custodian and artist Nadeena Dixon to launch our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan. As we provide support and ‘welcome’ to people seeking asylum arriving in Australia, we do so in a deep acknowledgement and recognition of First Nations people as the Traditional Custodians of the lands in which people seeking asylum seek safety.

The launch of our Reflect RAP was an important step forward in our journey to reconciliation as an organisation and as individuals.


An important ministerial visit

For the first time in a decade, a sitting Minister for Immigration visited the Asylum Seekers Centre this year. Shortly after the federal election, Andrew Giles came to ASC headquarters in Newtown to hear stories of people seeking asylum and meet members of our community.

A few months later, at the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law Conference in November, members of our advocacy group again posed questions and shared stories with the Minister.

A man, Minister Andrew Giles, sits at a table and speaks to a group of people who are supported by the Asylum Seekers Centre

November 2022 newsletter: Find out Australians’ views on poverty and people seeking asylum December 2022 newsletter: our Moments of Joy from 2022