Booklet shows many ways councils welcome migrants

Image shows three people smiling. They are surrounded by plants and flowers.

Case studies of the many ways metropolitan and regional councils from across Australia have successfully resettled new migrants will be launched at the 2020 Welcoming Cities Symposium in Canberra next month.

The 18-19 March gathering at the National Gallery of Australia is an opportunity for all levels of government and civil society to come together to tackle some of the biggest migration challenges facing Australia.

It’s also the scene for the launch of Stories of Welcome, Strategies and Case Studies for Building a Welcoming City, which features eight examples detailing projects and policies from regional and metropolitan members of the Welcoming Cities Network in VIC, NSW, TAS, SA and WA.

Organisers hope these case studies spark ideas for work that could applied by other councils and contribute to the continued learning and knowledge sharing of the 44-member strong network, whose membership has more than doubled in the past year.  

“Whether an action from a council plan, a community project, or a specific response to a local challenge – the common thread is a commitment to embracing and celebrating diversity, and strengthening the way we live together”, symposium organisers said.

In addition, the symposium features presentations including representatives from the City of Hobart on its Reconciliation Action Plan, and the City of Sydney on its approach to welcoming international students.

Representatives of the ACT Government will expand on its Wellbeing Indicators, while the City of Moreland will discuss its Social Cohesion Plan.

The draft program includes keynote speakers: Michael Adams, Founder of Environics group in Canada; Karen Mundine, CEO of Reconciliation Australia; and Alison Larkins, Coordinator-General for Migrant Services, and presentations from a number of academics.

Welcoming Cities is a national network of cities, shires, towns and municipalities who are committed to an Australia where everyone can belong and participate in social, cultural, economic and civic life.

Image: Photo of Karen migrants in Bendigo, courtesy of Welcoming Cities