On 17 June 2014, Hobsons Bay City Council signed the Refugee Welcome Zone Declaration. Hobsons Bay City Council has a strong history of welcoming refugees into its community and signing the declaration further highlights our continued commitment to welcoming and supporting refugees, upholding human rights, and demonstrating compassion for refugees. Council is also committed to raising awareness about the issues affecting refugees and people seeking asylum, fostering a culture of mutual respect and appreciation of cultural diversity.
The signing ceremony was held at the Laverton Community Hub and also featured a talent show celebrating the artistic talents of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants living in Hobsons Bay.
Council supported initiatives
Council is actively involved in a range of community, service provider, and government initiatives, projects, programs, and networks to realise its commitment to the Refugee Welcome Zone Declaration. Some of these are listed below:
- During Refugee Week each year, Council coordinates and supports a range of activities in Hobsons Bay to raise awareness of, welcome, and support refugees and people seeking asylum
- Council actively supports the Hobsons Bay Intercultural Services Network, a group of service providers and volunteer organisations to improve settlement outcomes for refugees and people seeking asylum in Hobsons Bay
- Council engages a range of tools and resources to support access to Council services including Language Line, interpreters, translators, bi-cultural workers ongoing cultural competency, and working with people of refugee backgrounds training for staff.
- In 2018 Council began working with other Victorian Councils advocating on the issue of Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS) program reductions and their impact on people seeking asylum and the broader community. Hobsons Bay City Council has since been an Executive member of this Mayoral Taskforce Supporting People Seeking Asylum. As part of the actions agreed, Council has written to the Australian Prime Minister and the Federal Minister for Home Affairs seeking a reversal of the SRSS program changes and outlining the impact on the Hobsons Bay community and service providers, and produced a short film outlining the impacts on local volunteer and emergency relief groups and participated in the Back Your Neighbour advocacy campaign directly to Parliament House in Canberra.
For more information please contact the Community Development Officer – Multicultural Portfolio on 9932 1638 or firstname.lastname@example.org