Moreland Council has displayed banners welcoming asylum Seekers and refugees at Brunswick and Coburg Town Halls. This is a result of a Moreland Council resolution. Council advocates for asylum seeker rights, including the right to find safety when faced with persecution, discrimination and violence.
The banners erected at the Coburg and Brunswick Town Hall entrances signify that Moreland Council welcomes all people to our municipality, extending hospitality and providing opportunities to settle well and participate in the life of our municipality.
Annual Refugee Week celebrations
Moreland Council holds an annual event to highlight the issues and challenges faced by asylum seeker and refugee communities. The event is also a celebration of contributions made by refugees to our community.
On Friday June 21, 2013, Council’s Library Services and Community Development and Social Policy Units partnered to celebrate Refugee Week at Coburg Library. This event was a great success and was attended by over seventy people. The Welcome to Country was provided by Aunty Di Kerr who drew important historical parallels between the experiences of refugees and Aboriginal families. The key note speaker was Abdi Aden, a young Somali refugee who arrived in Melbourne as a refugee minor aged 15. Abdi is known for his appearance in series 2 of the 2012 SBS documentary Go back to where you came from. Also speaking at the event was a speaker from the Asylum Seekers Welcome Centre (ASWC) in Brunswick. The talk highlighted the important work carried out by ASWC staff and volunteers, supporting the increasing numbers of asylum seekers who now live in our community. This event was truly inspirational and provided a forum to share some of the amazing stories and experiences of Moreland’s refugees and asylum seekers.
Support for service providers who support people seeking asylum in the Community
The local impact of asylum seekers living in community detention has become more obvious to service providers and the local government sector. Council’s Social Development Department supports a range of local service providers by co-ordinating and hosting the Moreland Multicultural and Settlement Services Network. During 2013 Council conducted a number of multicultural inter-agency sessions on how best to develop services, and negotiate service access for asylum seekers living in the community.
Moreland Council is also a direct service provider and funder. We provide community grants funding to organisations that support asylum seekers and promote asylum seeker welfare. Direct Council services include:
- provision of Maternal and Child Health Services
- provision of Youth Services
- access to leisure facilities, including 3 month free membership at the local gyms and free swimming lessons for a limited periods
- access to Council’s youth centre with targeted activities for refugee and asylum seeker youth and school holiday programs for refugee minors.