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    The Lucky Ones Book Launch - An evening with Dellaram Vreeland and Melinda Ham

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    Event description


    The Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council, in collaboration with the Ballarat Afghan Action Group and the Ballarat Rural Australians for Refugees, invites the community to attend a book launch event featuring journalist and author Dellaram Vreeland in conversation with author Melinda Ham. Melinda is the author of the newly released book, β€˜The Lucky Ones’.

    During the event, attendees will participate in an intimate discussion as Dellaram and Melinda delve into the heart of Melinda’s debut book, β€˜The Lucky Ones’. The book is a poignant portrayal of love, loss, despair, and hope through the lens of refugee journeys spanning seven decades. Through captivating narratives, they will explore the themes of resilience, human connection, and the ever-evolving landscape of refugee policy in Australia.

    Event Details:

    β€’ Date: Monday, 13 May 2024

    β€’ Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

    β€’ Location: Ballarat Welcome Centre, 25-39 Barkly Street, Ballarat East

    A light supper will be provided.Β 

    Books will be available for purchase at the event.

    This eventΒ is brought to you with the support of the Victorian government.Β Β 


    Melinda Ham has been a journalist for more than twenty-five years. She started her career in southern Africa as a correspondent for six years for the Associated Press and for London’s Daily Telegraph, The Economist and other international publications. She’s also lived and worked in India and Singapore. In Australia, she wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, the Australian Financial Review and the Sun Herald for more than twelve years, including stints as a sub-editor on the foreign desk and as commissioning editor for Special Reports. She wrote on a diverse range of subjects, including education, environment, health, lifestyle, health and culture. She’s been editor of Explore, the Australian Museum’s twice-yearly magazine. She’s also produced dozens of publications through her media company, Narrate Media, for charities, universities and companies.


    Dellaram Vreeland is a journalist, writer and Australian-born Iranian working and living on Wadawurrung Country. Raised in Ballarat, she has spent more than 14 years covering stories in rural and regional communities. She has been a finalist in the Melbourne Press Club's Quill Awards, and her work has appeared in Guardian Australia, across various Nine and Australian Community Media mastheads, as well as in a variety of national travel publications. Her interests lie in multicultural affairs, social justice, education and social cohesion, and she recently co-authored the book Undiscovered Victoria.


    The Lucky Ones chronicles the journeys of six refugee families to Australia from six countries over the past 70 years. Their real-life stories of resilience are woven together against the fabric of Australia’s changing refugee policy. The countries these families fled from include Poland/Ukraine, Vietnam, Iraq, Tibet, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Afghanistan.


    β€˜Set against the backdrop of Australia’s ever-changing refugee policies andΒ the turbulence of politics at home and abroad, the voices in these six storiesΒ capture the humour, resilience and tenacity of the people who have madeΒ Australia home.’
    Alice Pung

    β€˜This book illustrates the challenges that forcibly displaced people andΒ refugees face. It also showcases their strength, resilience, courage and caringΒ for each other in some of the most inhuman places in the world. At theΒ same time it showcases humanity and life changing opportunities for thoseΒ who are fleeing violence, persecution and war. It inspires us to believe thatΒ every individual has the power to make a positive change in the lives ofΒ those who are fleeing persecution, violence and war to seek protection andΒ build a new life in Australia.’
    Zaki Hadiri, Amnesty International Refugee Rights campaigner and AfghaniΒ refugee

    β€˜Books like this – that highlight and celebrate our shared humanity – areΒ how we become a kinder, more compassionate country.’ 
    Violet Roumeliotis AM, CEO Settlement Service International

    β€˜Hundreds of thousands of living Australians have experienced forcedΒ displacement from their country of birth and the challenges andΒ opportunities that come with starting again in an unfamiliar country. InΒ The Lucky Ones, Melinda Ham enables six families to share what this meantΒ for them, providing an invaluable insight into some of the experiences ofΒ the many people living among us who have been refugees at some point inΒ their lives.’
    Paul Power, CEO of the Refugee Council of Australia

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