Typical Wollongong? That's not the city I know

Eritrean refugee Tumezghi Tesfay.
Eritrean refugee Tumezghi Tesfay.

When images of recently arrived Eritrean refugee Tumezghi Tesfay being brutally bashed outside Wollongong train station went public, the Illawarra responded with outpourings of emotion - anger, disbelief, sympathy, sadness and shock.

Dapto man Shane Kenning was embarrassed.

"For him to be in the country a few days and be assaulted in my town, that was shameful," Mr Kenning said.

"The worst thing was I heard someone say was it was 'typical Wollongong'. I said, 'That's not the Wollongong I know'."

In October 2013, Mr Tesfay was assaulted and robbed of his valuables in an attack, caught on CCTV, that left him missing a tooth.

Mr Kenning is organising a concert at Waves Nightclub in August to show support for Mr Tesfay, and raise money for him to have dental work to repair his smile.

"I want to show him people here care about him and other refugees," Mr Kenning said.

Mr Kenning is negotiating with local bands to play the Rock For Refugees concert.

He has already met Mr Tesfay and given him albums from some Illawarra bands.

"He is a shy guy who doesn't want attention, but he likes music," Mr Kenning said.

"A few bands in Wollongong heard about the concert idea and gave me copies of their albums to pass to him, so he can get a feel for the place musically."

Mr Kenning is looking for bands to play the concert, as well as sponsors and other support. Email longhoundstudio@hotmail.com or go to the Facebook site for more information.


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