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Refugee Week 2018

Published on 13 June 2018
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  • Community
Refugee-week.jpg Refugee Week 2018 runs from Sunday 17 June to Saturday 23 June.

Refugee Week 2018 occurs across the country from Sunday 17 June to Saturday 23 June, and Maroondah will have welcome banners flying in support of the celebration.

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Nora Lamont said that Refugee Week celebrates the contribution made by refugees who have settled in Australia.

“Refugee Week provides the perfect opportunity to recognise the valuable contribution refugees make to the Maroondah community,” said Cr Lamont.

“Flags proudly showcasing Maroondah as a Refugee Welcome Zone will be flown on the corner of Mount Dandenong Road and Maroondah Highway during the week,” said Cr Lamont.

“A Refugee Welcome Zone is a Local Government Area which has made a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees, upholding their human rights, displaying compassion and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in the community,” said Cr Lamont.

“We became a Refugee Welcome Zone in 2013, and as such we not only benefit through increasing our cultural diversity, but also have the opportunity to showcase the supportive and welcoming nature of our community,” said Cr Lamont.

“Refugee Week also provides an occasion for refugees to celebrate the new lives they are establishing in Australia,” said Cr Lamont.

25,596 people who were living in the City of Maroondah in 2016 were born overseas, and 19% arrived in Australia within 5 years prior to 2016.

“Those who have settled in Maroondah come from a range of countries, with a large number coming from Burma (Myanmar) and from China and India. Having a variety of cultures in our neighbourhoods enriches our community and broadens our experiences,” said Cr Lamont.

“Refugee Week raises awareness of the issues affecting refugees, so that we can better understand and respond to them,” said Cr Lamont.

“We work across a range of Council services to support refugee communities in Maroondah. One of the most recent projects is the development and partnerships at the Coopersmith pavilion in East Ringwood,” said Cr Lamont.

“The Coopersmith Pavilion provides sporting facilities but also acts as a community hub for our Falam Chin community.

“Chin Community Victoria is a co-tenant, providing language classes, festivals, craft and social activities, as well as settlement support to the large local Chin community in Maroondah,” said Cr Lamont.

“Council is also involved in various networks to assist refugees to settle, and we also produce a Migrant and Refugee Handbook that is a valuable resource for refugees and those agencies assisting them,” said Cr Lamont.

Council’s Maternal & Child Health service assists refugees with children aged between 0 and 6 years by providing regular key age and stage checks and additional consultations where required. They also run programs specific to cater for refugee families, including a food workshop, parents groups and playgroups.

For more information on services to assist newly-arrived refugees and migrants to settle in Maroondah, or to access the Migrant and Refugee Handbook phone Council on 9294 5747.

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