Box opens up stories of success

Haney checks out the Woggle Box at Dandenong Library while Numan looks on.

By Danielle Kutchel

Keen to combat racism and negative perceptions of refugees, Kuranda Seyit hit upon an innovative idea.

While watching Goggle Box, he decided to find a way to convey refugees’ stories and experiences in their own words – and thus, Woggle Box was born.

Seyit, who is director of Forum on Australia’s Islamic Relations (FAIR), said Woggle Box features short video clips of refugees telling stories of why they fled their former home and how they’ve made their new lives a success. Passers-by are invited to step inside to listen to the stories.

The aim, Mr Seyit said, is to break down stereotypes about refuges, build social cohesion and address racism.

The box also features games, including ‘race against racism’ that also challenge people’s perceptions of minorities.

Currently Woggle Box features three religions (Judaism, Islam and Skihism), but more will be added in future, including Indigenous beliefs. Viewers can rotate through the stories presented and pick what interests them.

“Celebrating the success stories of people from refugee backgrounds is important. Giving as much support as possible is incumbent on us – Australia is welcoming and supportive,” Mr Seyit said.

Woggle Box will be officially launched by Dandenong mayor Jim Memeti on Tuesday 21 January at 2.00pm at Harmony Square opposite the library. All are welcome to attend. It will be available there from 12.00pm-4.00pm daily until 23 January.

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