“Compassion and kindness are paramount to me”: Artists support refugee entrants through Art4Refugees 2017

Every year for the past 9 years, SCARF has called out to local artists requesting artwork donations for art4refugees – an annual art exhibition and major fundraiser for SCARF. Every year without fail, we receive quality artworks (some worth thousands of dollars) for us to sell to help raise critical funds to support our work.

The incredible generosity of our contributing artists has allowed art4refugees to become a key fundraiser for SCARF each year, and is a wonderful testimony to the values of creative communities here in the Illawarra.

Art4Refugees2016-1303full rez copy

This year, 23 artists have generously donated at least 40 artworks. These donations will join 40 works from last years’ exhibition, forming a catalogue of 80 artworks spanning varying mediums – from sculptural pieces to oil paintings, watercolours, photographs and more.

When asked about why they’re contributing art to art4refugees 2017, many of our contributing artists had heartfelt responses.

“I believe in helping others in need,” said Lara Seresin, who is donating an oil painting. “Compassion and kindness are paramount to me. Sale money of an artwork is a practical way to  help the refugee community.”


Moira Kirkwood and Blak Douglas (in front of Blak’s work), Art4Refugees 2016

Art4Refugees contributing artist and voluntary exhibition curator, Moira Kirkwood, explained her motivation to contribute. “SCARF is all about helping people who are trying to start a new life in the Illawarra. Art4Refugees is raising money for this. What’s not to like?”

SCARF is all about helping people who are trying to start a new life in the Illawarra. Art4Refugees is raising money for this. What’s not to like? Moira Kirkwood

Najla Sbei and her artworks from Art4Refugees 2016

For artist and humanitarian settlement caseworker, Najla Sbei, her motivation to donate artworks art4refugees stems from personal experience. “I came to Australia as a refugee on August 2015, and SCARF was one of the organisations that I was surprised with the amazing work they do for the community, and today i would like to do something from my side to support their beautiful hard work.”

I came to Australia as a refugee on August 2015…today i would like to do something from my sideNajla Sbei

Last year, our contributing artists helped Art4Refugees raise an incredible $10,000 for SCARF. This year, with a new venue, a stellar collection of artworks, and an exciting ticketed Opening Night planned, we’re aiming even higher!

We’d like to express our sincere gratitude to our wonderful contributing artists for their support. We (quite literally) could not hold art4refugees without you!

About Art4Refugees & 2017 Events:

Art4refugees is an annual charity art exhibition and major fundraising event for SCARF (Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families).This unique event sees artists donate their artworks for public purchase with 100% of sale proceeds directed to SCARF.

This year, Art4Refugees will be held at iAccelerate, Innovation Campus (UOW). There will be an Opening Night event featuring Syrian cuisine, performances by Manal Younus (spoken word artist ), Sako Dermenjoan (classical guitarist) and an address and performance by Blak Douglas (renown artist and musician) on Friday the 27th of October.

We’re also holding a Family Day with art and craft activities for the whole family on Sunday the 29th of October. All events will take place at iAccelerate, UOW Innovation Campus.

  • Opening Night Event – Friday 27th October, 6-9pm, tickets $60 (including a drink on arrival and Syrian tasters prepared by our SCARF Community Members)
Purchase tickets


  • Family Day – Sunday 29th October, 10am-2pm, gold coin donation and $5 morning tea/coffee available. There will be craft activities happening including Macrame etc.
  • The Exhibition – Saturday 26th October – Sunday 12th November, 10am-5pm

Venue Address:

Innovation Campus – University of Wollongong
Squires Way, North Wollongong 2500

You can learn more about art4refugees at www.art4refugees.org.au