Shire of Mundaring is officially a Refugee Welcome Zone reflecting its current practices and continued commitment to supporting refugees.
The Shire 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.
Shire President John Daw, Father Chris Bedding (from St Cuthbert's Anglican Church), Dr Caroline Fleay (from the Refugee Council of Australia) and guest speaker Arad Nik, were among the attendees at last Friday's signing ceremony.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Shire President Cr John Daw said the declaration was a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees to the local area, upholding their human rights and demonstrating compassion while enhancing cultural and religious diversity in the community.
"The intent of this commitment is to recognise the valuable contribution made by refugees in Australia and to foster links between Councils on the challenges faced by refugees and asylum seekers," he said.
"This goal is aligned with the Shire of Mundaring's strategic objective of 'residents of all ages, needs and backgrounds are engaged and supported by their community'".
Cr Daw said officially declaring the Shire a Refugee Welcome Zone was a way of demonstrating widespread support of the principles it represents. These include encouraging a welcoming atmosphere while assisting refugees as they settle into the local community.
The Refugee Welcome Zone initiative was developed by the Refugee Council of Australia in 2002. The council is the national peak body that provides support, policy and education for refugees and organisations that work with them.