Welcome sign for refugees and asylum seekers

A giant banner will be displayed at Broadmeadows’ civic plaza in mid-June which reads ‘Hume City Council Welcomes Refugees and Asylum Seekers’.

The sign shall be launched at a special expo for refugees and asylum seekers, to be held during Refugee Week on Monday 20 June 2016 between 9.00am and 2.30pm, at the Hume Global Learning Centre, on Pascoe Vale Road, Broadmeadows.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, said the banner would demonstrate Council’s commitment to some of the municipality’s most vulnerable people.

“Hume is home to many people who have been forced to flee their homeland, and Council works hard to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers can settle well into our community,” Cr Patsikatheodorou said.

“This sign will show that Hume is fully behind local organisations that genuinely assist newly–arrived families.

“We hope the banner will send a message of reassurance to all refugees and asylum seekers, as it hangs in a prominent position at the entrance to the Hume Global Learning Centre – Broadmeadows.

“Many people will notice this important proclamation, as they head to The Age Library or the Broadmeadows Shopping Centre.”

Hume is one of 143 municipalities across Australia that have formally pledged to be a welcome zone for refugees.

In May, Council also resolved to join the Welcoming Cities Network, which helps governments, businesses and individuals to create inclusive communities through which all people can participate and feel that they belong.

As part of this commitment, Council encourages local groups to support refugees and asylum seekers, and helps newly-arrived families to learn more about Australia’s institutions.

Hume also assists refugees and asylum seekers to access a variety of Council services, and encourages the residents to have a say on issues that matter to them.

Cr Patsikatheodorou encouraged people to attend the Hume Refugee Expo.

“It comes at a very crucial time, after the Australian Government last year agreed to resettle 12,000 refugees in Australia, with some likely to ultimately live in Hume,” she said.

“The expo will feature presentations by community organisations that assist refugees and asylum seekers to improve their health and wellbeing.

“The day will start with a special event which showcases acts by Aboriginal and African dancers, and includes a talk and performance from the Sudanese-Australian singer Ajak Mabia.

“Aboriginal elder Aunty Di shall present a Welcome to Country, and representatives from local agencies will discuss ways to further improve programs for newly-arrived families.”

The expo is an initiative of Hume City Council’s Multicultural Action Plan working group, which includes members of organisations like Dianella Community Health, Family Relationship Centre, and Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said Council was proud that so many refugees and asylum seekers have called Hume home.

“This community has been built, in part, by people who have arrived in Australia to start a new life,” she said.

“Our culture is diverse, and we’re thrilled in the way families have moved to Hume to build their home, start new businesses, and enrich a beautiful part of the world.”

Residents of Hume come from more than 140 different countries and speak in excess of 120 separate languages.

For further information on the Hume Refugee Expo, visit here.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 2 June 2016

Updated : 10:03 AM, 2 June 2016

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