Art4refugees is an annual charity art exhibition and major fundraising event for SCARF (Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families) – a volunteer-based community organisation supporting refugees starting a new life in the Illawarra. This unique event sees artists donate their artworks for public purchase with 100% of sale proceeds directed to SCARF.

Artworks exhibited at Art4Refugees are curated to be diverse in style and medium, ensuring there’s an artwork for everyone’s taste. The exhibition proudly exhibits quality works by both unknown and nationally acclaimed artists, most of whom are from our local area. In the past, Art4Refugees has exhibited artists such as Archibald Prize short-listed Blak Douglas, George Gittoes, India Mark, Paul Ryan, Auguste Blackman and Sallie Moffatt.

This year, Art4Refugees will be held at iAccelerate, Innovation Campus (UOW). There will be an Opening Night event featuring Syrian cuisine, a drinks bar, auctions, live performances and guest speakers. We’re also holding a Family Day with art and craft activities for the whole family.

Art4refugees October 2017 Dates:

  • 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

SCARF is an volunteer-based, non-profit organisation that supports and empowers people from refugee backgrounds to lead independent and fulfilling lives in the Illawarra region. Our services include:

  • Education Support (homework help and tutoring for primary, high-school and university students)
  • Befriending (Mutually empowering friendships and individualised support)
  • Continuous Learning for Adults (Citizenship Test tutoring, form-filling support, training)
  • L2P Driver Mentor Program and Driver Awareness
  • Social Inclusion activities (such as our weekly Coffee and Conversation)
  • Youth Program (ongoing youth development initiatives)
  • Community Education (Speaker sessions led by SCARF Community Educators at schools, workplaces and organisations)

The community-based support offered by SCARF promotes enduring friendship, understanding and connection which can be life-changing for individuals and families from refugee backgrounds and for the wider community.

SCARF is in it’s 12th year running – Proudly delivering programs and services to refugee families and communities in the Illawarra for over a decade. SCARF has helped more than 1500 people from refugee backgrounds (including individuals and families from Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria and Togo) gain access to one or more of SCARF’s services.  In addition, over 450 volunteers from the Illawarra region generously share their time, energy and expertise to help deliver SCARF’s activities and programs.  SCARF has never received ongoing government funding and therefore relies on small grants, volunteer resources and the generosity of the Illawarra community and beyond.

With your support, we hope we can continue to provide our unique, responsive, wrap-around service to refugee families in the Illawarra, long into the future.


A refugee is a person who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country…
The Illawarra region (Wollongong, Shellharbour, Shoal-haven LGAs) has a long history as an area of settlement for refugees. Over the decades, Wollongong in particular has welcomed arrivals from across the world including European communities in the aftermath of World War II, the Vietnamese in the 1970s, Serbian, Croatian & Bosnian communities through the 1990s, and more recently, individuals and families from the Africa, Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East. Diversity exists both across and within these new and emerging communities, with a multiplicity of ethnic and language groups, and cultural traditions. In addition, literacy and language skills, education levels, professional qualifications, health status, and pre-arrival journeys vary greatly within and across refugee communities. This highlights the diversity of needs that arise for refugee entrants to Australia, not only in the short-term following arrival, but in the medium and longer term, to ensure sustained security, wellbeing and dignity.In 2002, Wollongong was designated a ‘welcoming city’ for refugees.Want to know more? Here are some useful links: