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Join the journey of hope

04 June 2013

Greater Dandenong residents will have the opportunity to walk a mile in the shoes of refugees on 18 June as part of the free Journey of Hope tour.

The initiative will take place in honour of Refugee Week 2013, which will be held on 16 to 22 June, and celebrates the many different refugee journeys that our residents have taken on their path to our city.

Greater Dandenong Mayor Angela Long said that Journey of Hope aims to celebrate the wonderful contribution that refugees have made to the municipality, and provide community members with the opportunity to meet residents who arrived in Australia as refugees.

“Greater Dandenong’s cultural diversity and range of support services make the area one of the most desirable municipalities for refugees.

“Council has a long and proud history supporting new migrants – through initiatives such as the Journey of Hope tour, we aim to highlight the important contribution that refugees make to the fabric of our great city.

In 2011–12, over 2,700 recently arrived migrants settled in Greater Dandenong, the highest number of settlers in any Victorian municipality. Of these arrivals, nearly a third were humanitarian immigrants, largely from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iran and Pakistan.

“Greater Dandenong is pleased to be one of the 78 councils across Australia to declare their area a Refugee Welcome Zone,” added Cr Long.

“We are committed to providing a welcoming environment for refugees from all backgrounds and undertake a range of initiatives in support of migrants.

“Council provides a number of playgroups for families waiting on their refugee approval, and supports the Heartlands Refugee Art Prize and Exhibition, a project that assists refugee artists establish themselves in Australia.

“I encourage each resident to support the Council by playing a proactive role in contributing to a harmonious and compassionate City of Greater Dandenong.

“Residents should not miss this wonderful opportunity to hear unique and inspiring stories of survival from local people whose journeys will surely differ from their own.”

 Bookings for the Journey of Hope tour are essential. For more information, or to make a booking, please contact 9239 5265.

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