Refugee Week 2016 Launch at Inner West Refugee Hub

The Inner West Council has hosted the launch of Refugee Week 2016 at Callan Park, with a host of guests getting a special preview of the Inner West Refugee Welcome Centre hub.

The Inner West Council was confirmed as a Refugee Welcome Zone at the event.

NSW Premier Mike Baird, President of the Refugee Council of Australia, Mr Phil Glendenning and NSW Coordinator General for Refugee Resettlement, Professor Peter Shergold, were all on hand to celebrate the launch of the nation-wide week aimed at raising awareness about issues facing refugees.

Administrator of the Council Mr Richard Pearson said that Council was extremely honoured to have been chosen to host the event.

“The Inner West community has a strong commitment to social justice,” he said.

“This has been fostered through strong leadership by Councillors in the former Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville Councils and the Inner West Council is proud to take this tradition forward.

“Each of those Councils had a declared position as a Refugee Welcome Zone Council and I am honoured to confirm that Inner West Council is also a Refugee Welcome Zone.

Former Councillors of Leichhardt Council attended the launch, along with representatives from the Refugee Council of Australia, the Asylum Seeker Foundation, the Participation and Inclusion Department of Family and Community Services, the NSW Council for Civil Liberties and a range of Humanitarian Award Recipients.

Attendees got a preview of the Inner West Refugee Welcome Centre, an initiative of former Leichhardt Councillors under the leadership of the former Mayor Darcy Byrne in conjunction with former Cr Simon Emsley.

“I would like to acknowledge the leadership of former Leichhardt Councillors and give my thanks to the Council staff who have worked in partnership with Refugee Council of Australia to make this happen,” said Mr Pearson.

The Centre will be operated in partnership with Settlement Services International, (SSI) and Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of Archdiocese of Sydney, to help refugees residing across Sydney to access support services.

It will offer family support, to make sure refugees feel welcome and can access the support services they need as soon as they arrive, community building support and services – to help arrivals to integrate into the community and partnerships that will make sure there is long

lasting access to things like education and employment opportunities.

“Over the next months, Inner West Council will be working with Settlement Services International to generate a series of programs that will engage young and old alike in activities that will build a shared understanding between new and more established community members,” said Mr Pearson.

At the same time, Inner West Council is also working with Settlement Services International to develop a Smart Phone App. It will link refugees in the Inner West to essential services and community information.

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Page last updated: 15 Nov 2018