Opening Night 2017


When: Friday 27th October, 6-9pm
Where: iAccelerate, UOW Innovation Campus
Tickets: $60 – all proceeds go to SCARF, includes Syrian cuisine and drink on arrival – Available here.

To officially launch the Art4Refugees 2017 exhibition, SCARF will be hosting a special Opening Night event celebrating art, community and culture. 

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.

The Opening Night event will feature:

  • Traditional Syrian cuisine
  • Peformances by Sako Dermenjian (classical Guitarist) and Manal Younus (spoken word artist)
  • A keynote address and performance by artist, musician and activist, Blak Douglas
  • A free drink on arrival & a drinks bar
  • First opportunity to purchase a range of quality artworks
  • A chance to have an enjoyable night while supporting a good cause (all proceeds got to SCARF!)

Tickets* are $60 (including a drink on arrival and Syrian tasters prepared by our SCARF Community Members). All proceeds form ticket sales go directly to SCARF to support their work. *Limited capacity available.

Purchase tickets

Art4Refugees 2017 Speaker & Performer Line-up:


Manal Younus is a writer, performance poet and creative producer. As a Muslim woman with Eritrean origins living in Australia, the young artist discovers and strengthens her identity while inciting thought and discussions amongst her audiences in schools, workplaces, conferences and communities. Her background in community work has seen her create inclusive, progressive spaces. In 2015 Manal self published her first book of poetry titled Reap, and has since travelled the country and internationally performing her work. She has been featured at Adelaide’s TedX Conference, appeared on ABC’s Q&A and represented Australia at Malaysia’s Georgetown Literary Festival.

Blak Douglas was born Adam Douglas Hill Blacktown (1970) Western Sydney to a Koori Father / Caucasian Mother. He is trained in illustration & photography, and later became self – practiced in painting with a style influenced by the study of Graphic Design & devoutly politicised per social justice. He has collections in Blacktown & Liverpool City Councils, City of Sydney, Aboriginal Art Museum (Utrecht), National Gallery of Australia, National Maritime MuseumNational Museum of Australia, Town Hall Collection and Taipei Museum. Blak has been a successive finalist in the Telstra National Indigenous Art Award, the Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize and a finalist in the Xstrata Emerging Artists Award and a 2015 Archibald Prize finalist.

Sako Dermenjian is an Armenian classical guitarist, born and raised in Syria, now based in Australia. He was given his first guitar at the age of 7 as a gift from his grandmother and it hasn’t left him since. After studying with the great Mazen Al-Saleh for 9 years in Damascus, Sako was already on the path of achieving his dream to become a world-renowned classical guitarist and teacher. Then war broke out and changed his plans. Sako is now an accomplished musician here in Australia. He has been invited to play at the Australia Day Awards, at Tedx Wollongong, and at many gigs at popular venues. Sako is also studying a Bachelor of Performance in classical guitar at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under the guidance of his teacher Vladimir Gorbach. Sako plays a Jayson Elazzi Cedar top classical guitar.