CMY welcomes Latrobe Valley move to become refugee welcome zone

March 21, 2016

CMY welcomes Latrobe Valley move to become a Refugee Welcome Zone

Gippsland residents and community organisations celebrated Harmony Day this week by officially launching the Valley as a Refugee Welcome Zone.

Latrobe City Council is now one of over 40 Victorian Councils to commit to welcoming refugees into the community, a move welcomed by CMY.

With over 14% of Latrobe Valley residents born overseas, the area has the second highest proportion of overseas born residents in regional Victoria.

CMY Gippsland Team Leader, Cate Chaiyot said the launch was a reflection of Victoria’s strong and prosperous multicultural community.

“By making the Latrobe Valley a Refugee Welcome Zone, we’re telling young people and their families that they’re not only welcome, but that their optimism, resilience and enterprise are a valued contribution to the continued prosperity of Australia,” she said.

“The Latrobe Valley is a diverse and welcoming area and it was great to make it official, while also joining other councils across the country in this national movement.”

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

As part of the Harmony Day celebrations, CMY also joined Gippsland Employment Skills Training Inc (GEST) in launching an English language program for CALD communities. GEST’s ‘Call for CALD’ is an interactive and personalised English Language learning program, to help people of CALD background develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

Pictured: CMY and other orgs from around the Gippsland area are celebrating Harmony Day with Gippsland Employment Skills Training (GEST) - an organisation who've just launched a program to support CALD families with their English Language skills. Great to see organisations working together to support CALD communities. GEST also run a number of social enterprises, including an awesome veggie garden (pictured).

Pictured: Members of the Latrobe Valley community at the Refugee Welcome Zone launch.