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Refugees finding hope and a future in Australia: Blacktown.



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Refugees finding hope and a future in Australia - Blacktown

19 June 2006

‘Australians can be very proud that it is one of the top three countries in the world to provide hope to refugees and others in humanitarian need,’ Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Amanda Vanstone, said today.

‘Hope’ is the theme of this year’s United Nations designated World Refugee Day, on Tuesday 20 June and the Minister urged the Blacktown community to support activities to mark the day, including the Citizenship Ceremony for 30 former refugee and humanitarian entrants, 20 June, 6.30pm, Blacktown Migrant Resource Centre, Level 1, 125 Main St, Blacktown.

On the eve of World Refugee Day, Senator Vanstone said the occasion was a chance to recognise and praise the courage of refugees and humanitarian entrants in Australia, many of whom have fled desperate circumstances to begin a new life in Australia.

‘Tomorrow in Canberra, I will have the honour of conferring Australian citizenship on refugees who have settled in the Australian Capital Territory,’ the Minister said.

‘Every refugee and humanitarian entrant has a personal story to tell, and I would urge people to mark World Refugee Day by listening to some of those stories.

‘Events are being staged across the country to mark World Refugee Day, with the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs directly supporting a number of events involving local community groups, including the Citizenship Ceremony at Blacktown MRC.

‘The Australian community plays a vital role in supporting and assisting refugee and humanitarian entrants settle into life in Australia and this event is a way to acknowledge and thank people for this valuable work.’

The Minister said Australia is one of the top three countries, along with the USA and Canada, providing comprehensive resettlement programmes for refugees and others in humanitarian need.

‘Since the end of World War II, Australia has accepted over 660 000 refugees and people needing humanitarian assistance into the Australian community,’ the Minister said.

‘I am very proud of the fact that Australia currently gives 13 000 refugees and people in humanitarian need every year, a reason to hope,’ the Minister said.

Media contact: 02 6264 2244

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Senator Amanda Vanstone MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS

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URL: http://www.minister.immi.gov.au /media_releases/media06/v06139.htm Last update: 27 June 2006 at 14:46 AEST