Welcome to Refugee bid

CUMBERLAND is home to the highest number of people seeking asylum in NSW and councillors will consider a report next month on the processes and requirements of becoming an official ‘Refugee Welcome Zone’.

The issue was raised by Councillor Ola Hamed who noted that Cumberland was home to one of “the most culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse populations of any local government area in Australia”.
She said by making a public declaration, the council was also acknowledging the tremendous contribution refugees have made to the local community.
“Cumberland Council already undertakes a vast variety of initiatives which help to create a welcoming atmosphere and assist in the settlement of refugees,” she said.
“The Refugee Welcome Zone declaration is a public commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees in to our community; upholding the human rights of refugees; demonstrating compassion for refugees; and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in our community.”
Reminding his colleagues that the former Auburn LGA had previously been a Refugee Welcome Zone, Cr George Campbell said that the council had a proud history of welcoming and assisting refugees, and he also noted the success of the multi-award winning annual ‘Refugee Camp In My Neighbourhood’ project.
“Very many refugees and asylum seekers live in Cumberland,” he said.
“They have been uprooted from their communities and their countries as a result of fear, persecution and sometimes torture. Some have been badly mistreated by Australian authorities.
“In declaring Cumberland LGA a Refugee Welcome Zone, we offer assurances that we recognise their dignity as human beings and we express and uphold our values as an example to all Australians.”