Shire embraces Refugee Welcome Zone status

Shire of Mundaring is officially a Refugee Welcome Zone, following support of the initiative at an Ordinary Council meeting held last week.

A Refugee Welcome Zone refers to a local government area that has made a commitment to welcoming refugees into local communities as well as demonstrating compassion for them while enhancing their cultural and religious diversity.

The declaration follows a request from local resident, Dr Trudy Rosenwald, an advocate for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.

Shire President John Daw said the decision to become a welcome zone reinforces Council's commitment to welcoming people of all backgrounds into the local community.

He said the initiative would enhance other ways the Shire celebrates cultural diversity including Harmony Day, Cultural Advisory Group meetings and organising cultural awareness workshops.

"We are very fortunate in Western Australia to have people from a diverse range of countries and cultures," Cr Daw said.

"By making this declaration, we are publicly committing to support the men, women and children who make the difficult journey to Australia to seek our protection and start a new life here."

The Refugee Welcome Zone initiative was developed by the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) in 2002. The council is a national organisation which provides support, policy and education for refugees. The assistance is also offered to organisations and individuals who support them. 

Shire of Mundaring joins nine other Western Australian local government areas who have registered as a Refugee Welcome Zone including the Cities of Bayswater, Fremantle, Subiaco, Vincent and the Shires of Augusta-Margaret River, Katanning, Manjimup and the Towns of Bassendean and Victoria Park.

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