Jane Turner

Reporter: Anna Coren

Jane Turner has made a career out of being funny, her greatest success - hit TV show 'Kath and Kim'. Her latest project has taken her around the world and into the lives of people she wants all of us to know about. Fountain Lakes couldn't be further away. Comedian Jane Turner is on a mission, no scripts, no crazy characters. She simply wants to share a slice of life - that changed hers.

Jane's made a three day journey from her Melbourne home to the border of Chad and Sudan in Africa. In Sudan's Darfur region government backed Arab militia are wiping out African tribal farmers. 200,000 people have been murdered, 2 million forced from their homes into refugee camps run by the United Nations. "When I decided to come on board for Australia for UNHCR, I was looking at different charities and I thought refugees are the most needy vulnerable people in the world, they've got all the problems of every person, health, education, but at the same time they're homeless and stateless" says Jane. Australia for UNHCR is a charity that helps refugees and displaced people around the world.

Do you think we become slightly immune to those images of refugees and these camps? "I do, I think people have got good hearts, but I think people thinks it's too big, where does the money go and because it's never ending you often just see, you don't see the good stories, you see images of heartbreak and hardship" answers Jane.

What were your first impressions when you saw the refugee camp? "The first impression was how remote it was... It's really harsh, when you have that many people living in such an area, the water's an issue, fuel all those logistics are really difficult and then on top of that the boredom and frustration is amazing, and you really see it in the kids."

That journey was three years ago, since then Jane's life has become a lot busier. But she remains special representative for Australia arm of The United Nations Refugee Agency. Travelling to camps a couple of times a year. "For me it's not a chore, it's a fantastic honour to be able to go and meet some incredibly uplifting and inspiring people, the refugees and the people who work for refugees." Last night they launched their 'Star Appeal', a chance for you to give twice this Christmas. You can buy the worlds most needy, everything from a tent to an education.

"$12 in our star appeal for this Christmas will provide pencils and books for a whole year that's one of the biggest things you can give someone education, so it's a really simple thing" says Jane.At least 93 percent of all your donations go to the refugees. Back in Africa, it's easy to see why those simple things are so important.

"These causes need publicity, you don't have to give money, just becoming aware of other people, it makes you feel more grateful for the things you've got. The UN has a mandate to protect refugees and that's what we have to uphold that, it's so important to keep a civil and a good society" adds Jane.

To donate to the UNHCR:

Tel: 1300 486 427

Website: http://www.unrefugees.org.au/