Since last September, Brisbane’s Romero Centre has helped 42 refugees gain employment. This is just one of the things the Centre does to help those fleeing war, political or religious persecution, as well as providing housing, food, legal advice, language skills, and meaningful community connections.

By way of example, Mengistu Hailu, the Centre manager, tells about a man who was visiting Australia when his employer discovered that he was gay and announced that he would be sacked when he returned from Australia. Worse still, gay men were under constant threat of being murdered in his home country.  Facing a risk to his life and the likelihood of imprisonment and worse, he decided to seek asylum in Australia even though he had no one to turn to, had no money and was completely homeless.

To raise awareness and provide much-needed funds, the Romero Centre are holding their annual Welcome Walk on Sunday, 18 June. Participants can walk 3 or 6 kms starting from Souths Leagues Club at Davies’ Park. Steve Bretherton, Souths’ CEO, says the club is providing the venue free of charge. The staff from the West End office of Silver Chef Hospitality Finance will also be joining in the walk. They have supported the event over the past three years providing pro bono marketing, drinks, and first aid.

Head of Community and Corporate Relations, Richard Langford, says,

By doing the walk participants will honour and respect peoples’ right to a safe refuge.”

Mr Hailu says the Romero Centre hopes to raise $45,000. He says as well as supporting other work at the Centre, the money would go towards paying their social workers. The Centre currently employs two full-time and one part-time social worker. Much of the other work done at the Centre is provided by volunteers.


The Welcome Walk is on Sunday, 18 June.

To register and set up a donations page, participants should visit the website. Registration must be completed before 17 June.