Last week the Mayor, Cr Pete Harrison, signed the declaration of Palerang Council as a Refugee Welcome Zone, in accordance with Council’s resolution in July.
A Refugee Welcome Zone is a Local Government Area which has made a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into the community, upholding the human rights of refugees, demonstrating compassion for refugees and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in the community.
The Refugee council of Australia says “This public commitment is also an acknowledgment of the tremendous contributions refugees have made to Australian society in the fields of medicine, science, engineering, sport, education and the arts. By making this Declaration, it is hoped that local government will be encouraged in their continuing efforts to support the men, women and children who make the difficult journey to Australia to seek our protection.
The Refugee Welcome Zone initiative began in June 2002 as part of Refugee Week celebrations. At the time, 15 Councils and Shires in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia were declared Refugee Welcome Zones. Today, more than 90 Local Government Areas have declared themselves Refugee Welcome Zones. The initiative has proven to be a great success in connecting local governments with the issues facing refugees and asylum seekers.”
Pictured are Mr Paul Power, CEO of the Refugee Council of Australia, Mayor Cr Harrison and Deputy Mayor Cr Belinda Hogarth-Boyd, at the signing ceremony held in the Bungendore Council Chambers.
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