Cumberland Council, together with community groups and service providers, undertake a number of initiatives that welcome, support and celebrate refugees in the local community. This includes the delivery of the award-winning Refugee Camp in My Neighbourhood program which is delivered annually to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrates the contributions refugees make to the Cumberland community.
Other initiatives currently being implemented by Council include:
- Grant funding for community-based initiatives that support the settlement of refugees.
- Free English conversation classes delivered from all libraries.
- Free ‘Discover Cumberland’ bi-lingual bus tours and workshops for new arrivals, promoting access to libraries, community facilities and Council services.
- Free immunisation clinics for children from 6 weeks to 5 years (with or without being a holder of a Medicare card) and catch-up vaccinations for children up to the age of nine years old.
- Volunteering opportunities to provide social connection, improve English skills, provide local experience, references, self-confidence and employment pathways for new arrivals.
- Casual employment opportunities as tour guides to support the Refugee Camp in My Neighbourhood program and Flavours of Auburn cooking classes and food tours.
- A dedicated Community Projects Officer focusing on removing barriers and connecting families and children from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds to education and care services.
- Provision of, and access to, subsidised community facilities for the delivery of programs and services supporting refugees and people seeking asylum.
- Free capacity building training to enhance leadership capability in refugee and asylum seeking communities, and for the organisations which support them.
- Social research on local issues and how they present in refugee and asylum seeking communities such as the State of Homelessness in Cumberland Research Report.
- Literacy programs for children including baby rhyme time, preschool story time and reading assistance at all Council libraries.
- Access to free Wi-Fi, computers, books, e-resources, homework help and study support from all Council libraries.
- Delivery of a range of free community events which encourage communities from all backgrounds to connect, celebrate cultural diversity and promote social cohesion.