A Table Talk is a powerful community expression of sharing, learning, and commitment to action on issues of social justice. In Australia, we are all enriched by the talents, knowledge and skills of people seeking asylum, refugees and that of migrants. At Table Talks, refugees, and people with lived experience of seeking asylum, tell their incredible stories.
A Table Talk is a conversation within a local community, parish or school, or other group, about and with people seeking asylum. Table talks take between 90 minutes and 2.5 hours. They emphasise respectful dialogue and mutual sharing of personal stories around values that are important to us.
At each gathering, people seeking asylum are invited to share their stories. Participants also share their own stories and can ask questions of an expert. The goal is to build solidarity, to find common ground in our shared values, and build the capacity of communities to stand with people seeking asylum.
JRS Australia provides the following to participating groups:
- One or more refugees/people seeking asylum who are prepared to share their story during the talk.
- A suggested format for the conversation (with a focus on sharing stories and values).
- An expert to respond to participants’ questions and reflections.
- Someone to facilitate, or co-facilitate with a local leader if desired.
Participating organisations are asked to:
- Provide a venue and time to gather for the Table Talk.
- Market the Table Talk so people can register and attend.
- Meet at least twice with JRS Australia or Sydney Alliance leaders beforehand to adapt the agenda to their community & values, and at least once afterwards for debriefing and follow up.
Hosting a Table Talk.
At Table Talks, leaders and spokespeople from refugee backgrounds & people with lived experience of seeking asylum, tell their incredible stories. JRS Australia welcomes any interested group or individual to reach out to JRS Australia and we will help you to organise a Table Talks with your community and/or network.
JRS often co-hosts Table Talks with Sydney Alliance. So far, JRS Australia have worked with schools to run Table Talks for staff during Staff Mission days and with individual year cohorts and have organised several Table Talks with social justice groups at the parish level.
Be part of it.
To host a Table Talk, or find out more, simply email the below contacts or call (02) 9356 3888.
- Schools, please email Anne Nesbitt: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Parishes/community/other groups, please email Anne Rutherford: email@example.com
JRS Australia acknowledges that the Table Talk model was developed and first implemented by Sydney Alliance. JRS Australia partners with Sydney Alliance to run Table Talks in Sydney. Photo: Table Talk speaker, human rights advocate and Hazarah leader, Hava Rezaie. Read Hava’s incredible story here.