Supporting refugees and asylum seekers
Ballarat in central Victoria is home to a small number of Hazara Afghans and has been reminded by recent events in Afghanistan how important it is to embrace and support refugees and people seeking asylum.
The city is well positioned to provide support for this critical sector of the community as a Refugee Welcome Zone, an Intercultural City, a Welcoming City and a member of Mayors for Peace.
City of Ballarat Mayor, Daniel Moloney said Ballarat had benefited enormously from its multicultural community, and it was essential that the City continued to advocate for accepting and supporting a diverse multicultural community, particularly in this case those Afghans and Hazaras who have found sanctuary in Ballarat.
“Ballarat is a growth city and an important part of the foundation for growth is ensuring we welcome and provide the necessary support platforms for our multicultural community.
“The recent events in Afghanistan serve as a timely reminder of how tough life can be for anyone coming to a new country and making a new start; often leaving loved ones behind in tenuous circumstances.”
Mayor Moloney recently wrote to the local Hazara community expressing support and empathy. He has also written to the Prime Minister and other Ministers in Federal Government extending the City’s support and making a commitment to work in partnership with all levels of government.
City of Ballarat is involved in a range of partnerships and networks that provide key services to asylum seekers and refugees, funding projects and activities by community groups and organisations supporting multicultural groups and advocating for appropriate services to support the needs of these groups.
“Ballarat is a Refugee Welcome Zone and supports the Refugee Council of Australia. We will stand in solidarity with Ballarat Rural Australians for Refugees, and the extensive network supporting refugees and people seeking asylum in Ballarat.
“We are all proud to have a terrific multicultural community that brings fresh ideas and creativity in abundance to our city. Our city is all the richer for the advantages that this diversity brings, and it is essential in such hard times that we embrace and
support the Afghan community of Ballarat as they have embraced us.”