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Gunnedah Shire Council

Gunnedah Council CMYK Stack LogoGunnedah Shire was declared a Refugee Welcome Zone on 21 March 2016 to coincide with Harmony Day. Located in NSW on the Namoi River, only 80 kilometres from Tamworth, and 440 kilometres from Sydney, Gunnedah Shire is the traditional land of the Gomeroi people of the Kamilaroi (Gamilaraay) Aboriginal Nation. The name Gunnedah is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘place of many white stones’, which refers to the quartz pebbles and outcrops in the area that are visible from the top of Porcupine Lookout.

As a place to live and enjoy, the communities of Gunnedah Shire have a distinctive character built from its prosperous heritage. The heart of the Shire is the town of Gunnedah, with a supporting set of rural villages including Breeza, Carroll, Curlewis, Emerald Hill, Kelvin, Mullaley and Tambar Springs. Almost 13,000 people call the Shire, home. The rolling hills, ragged mountain ranges and majestic sweeping Namoi Plains inspired Dorothea Mackellar’s poem ‘My Country’ while the beautiful landscapes serve as a natural backdrop that adds to our country charm and welcoming, relaxed lifestyle.

The Shire has a vibrant arts and cultural community and thrives on events that support and connect the local community. Community groups like Multicultural Gunnedah are available to welcome and assist new international residents and refugees to the Shire, and the Library is a popular and friendly space to connect with other local families and community groups. Council’s annual Citizenship Ceremony demonstrates the Shire as a great place to live.

Funding opportunities abound for community groups and organisations to deliver events and activities that support multicultural groups, and to strength access services that support the needs of refugee and asylum seeker communities for community strengthening projects. Annual events for Harmony Day are held as opportunities to share culture and create joyful connections, and in 2022, the Harmony Day markets were one of the largest, and most successful to date, featuring food stalls, market wares and dance and musical performances from a multitude of cultures.

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