Shire of Mundaring is a local government area located on the eastern fringe of Perth approximately 35 kilometres from the CBD. The Noongar Aboriginal people were the first to arrive in the area and it is widely believed that they named the area based on its distinct geographical features – Mundaring is an Aboriginal word which means “on a high place” or “the place of the grass tree leaves”. The Shire is predominantly peri-urban, with residential areas throughout its many townships. It encompasses a total land area of 644 sqkm, of which nearly half is national park, state forest, or water catchment. According to 2016 census, the Shire population was just over 39,000 of which approximately 24% of people were born overseas and 6% spoke a language other than English at home.
While not a high refugee settlement area, the Shire of Mundaring has made a concerted effort to demonstrate its support and recognition of refugees though a number of initiatives. The organisation was officially declared a Refugee Welcome Zone in early 2019. In doing so, the Shire is committed to the principles the status adheres too. These include encouraging a welcoming atmosphere while assisting refugees as they settle into the local community. This goal is aligned with the Shire of Mundaring’s strategic objective which states, ‘residents of all ages, needs and backgrounds are engaged and supported by their community’. Shire of Mundaring is also an active supporter of local Harmony Day initiatives. The annual celebration coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Shire has a strong spirit of inclusiveness across all community groups. It considers cultural diversity to be of among its greatest assets.