City Council Declares Adelaide A Refugee Welcome Zone

Image by Alex Cockayne.

Credit: Alex Cockayne.

In a move to welcome refugees into the community, City Councillors have declared Adelaide a Refugee Welcome Zone. Following on from this commitment made at a Council Meeting, there will be an official signing on Monday 1 September. This document will acknowledge the contributions refugees have made to society and will enhance cultural diversity in Adelaide.

Signing this declaration will encourage the development of a more coordinated approach to supporting refugees. It will motivate the City Council, local organisations and support groups to work together more effectively to improve the settlement outcomes for refugees.

Councillor David Plumridge AM has been a strong advocate for the Refugee Welcome Zone and says that signing the declaration is a great way to show support for refugees.

“It is very good that Council is welcoming refugees settling in Adelaide. It is great to highlight the important contribution that they make to our community, building on our skills and culture,” said David. “It is pleasing to see that Council will endorse this as other Councils have also made their local government areas Refugee Welcome Zones.”

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 and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in the community. The initiative began in June 2002 as part of Refugee Week celebrations.

South Australian Councils who have already declared themselves as Refugee Welcome Zones include Campbelltown City Council, the Town of Gawler, City of Marion, City of Mitcham, the Rural City of Murray Bridge, City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters, City of Port Adelaide Enfield, City of Prospect and City of West Torrens.

Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood says that Local Government has historically played an important role in assisting refugee settlement.

“This declaration is a commitment to promoting social cohesion and progress,” said Stephen.

“It is great to think that this might assist refugees who settle in Adelaide so that they feel supported by Adelaide City Council.”

Chief Executive Officer of the Refugee Council of Australia Paul Power said Adelaide City Council is the 101st Council in Australia to declare their local government a Refugee Welcome Zone.

“Signing the Declaration reaffirms a commitment to provide a safe and welcoming environment for asylum seekers, migrants and refugees,” said Paul.

“This action demonstrates Adelaide City Council’s support for the diverse groups of people that chose to call Adelaide home.”

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