Kurdish community members involved with the Australia Day celebrations, Melbourne, 2009.
Source: KAV Archives
Kurds from different countries and backgrounds come together in Australia through a common history and culture.
Our identity as Kurds is both a strength and an ongoing challenge. Moving to Australia has given us the freedom to express an identity that is repressed in the countries from which we come, but it has also created new tensions. Some young people born overseas have already experienced conflict between their Kurdish heritage and other national cultures following Kurdistan’s division. In Turkey, for instance, Kurds are called ‘mountain Turks’ and are encouraged to reject their background. In Australia this tension is further complicated by the experiences of migration.
Some of our young people strongly identify with Kurdish culture and consciously promote our heritage, while others prefer to integrate into the broader Australian society.
Kurds have worked through various associations to address these issues. Organisations such as the Kurdish Association of Victoria and the Melbourne Kurdish Foundation orchestrate social and cultural activities for the survival of Kurdish arts and culture, and to support the ongoing struggle for freedom in our homeland. Our community here is working to balance the traditions and obligations of our heritage with the freedoms of our new home in Australia.