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New Refugee Resettlement Advisory Council meets in Sydney

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Senator Kate Lundy Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Citizenship

New Refugee Resettlement Advisory Council meets in Sydney Friday, 10 December 2010

Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Citizenship Senator Kate Lundy today commended the work of the Refugee Resettlement Advisory Council (RRAC), which she said played an important role providing advice to the government on refugee settlement.

Senator Lundy attended the inaugural meeting of the sixth council in Sydney and reaffirmed Australia’s long-standing commitment and proud history of resettling refugees and offering protection to those in humanitarian need.

‘The council plays an important role providing community feedback and assisting the government shape settlement services,’ Senator Lundy said.

‘Australia’s humanitarian program is an expression of our deepest values - our openness, our hospitality, our humility and our belief in justice and human dignity.’

During a visit to Australia in 2009, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, described Australia’s resettlement program as probably the most successful in the world.

‘The success of our humanitarian program is not measured by how many people we resettle, but by how well refugees settle, build their lives and contribute to the Australian community,’ Senator Lundy said.

RRAC provides advice to government on the settlement of refugees and humanitarian entrants and facilitates the information flow on settlement policy between the government and the community sector.

‘I am pleased Bruce Baird is continuing as chair of the council. As a former federal and state member of parliament he brings valuable expertise to the position and he has a strong interest in refugee and humanitarian settlement matters,’ the parliamentary secretary said.

Members of the council are:

• The Hon Bruce Baird AM (Chair) • Mr Rasoul Ahmady • Mr Paris Aristotle AM • Ms Jasmina Bajraktarevic-Hayward • Ms Carmel Guerra • Ms Eleri Morgan-Thomas • Mr Paul Power • Ms Jenny Semple • Mr Daniel Zingifuaboro

Senator Lundy acknowledged the contribution of the former members of the RRAC and extended a special welcome to the three new council members Rasoul Ahmady, Jasmina Bajraktarevic-Hayward and Eleri Morgan-Thomas.

‘Many RRAC members, in their professional capacity, represent some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and I welcome the opportunity to work with them,’ Senator Lundy added.

A full list of Refugee Resettlement Advisory Council members is displayed below.

RRAC Chair