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Swan Hill welcomes migrants and refugees.

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Peter McGauran MP Australian Government Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

Media Release

Swan Hill Welcomes Migrants and Refugees

16 May 2005

The Australian Government is continuing to help migrants and refugees successfully settle in the Swan Hill community.

Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Peter McGauran joined Federal Member for Mallee, John Forrest, today to meet with local agencies, employers and Councillors involved in providing settlement services.

‘Agencies such as the Swan Hill Region Employment and Settlement Services Group play an essential role in attracting migrants to the region and helping them settle in their new community,’ Minister McGauran said.

‘From this support, migrants and refugees develop a sense of belonging and are able to become full participants in their local community both socially and economically,’ Minister McGauran said.

Minister McGauran will also meet with migrants who have recently relocated from Melbourne to Swan Hill with the assistance of the Victoria University and the job network provider Murray Mallee Training Company

Swan Hill’s relocation program, supported by the local council, is part of an initiative to encourage people, originally from

the Horn of Africa, to settle in the region.

These new arrivals join a culturally diverse society with almost ten percent of the Swan Hill population born overseas from countries such as Italy, Tonga, Samoa and Vietnam,’ Minister McGauran said.

Minister McGauran will also meet with local employers to hear their experiences in attracting skilled and unskilled workers to the area.

‘Today’s meetings show that the Australia Government is listening to the concerns of the settlement agencies and the diverse communities they assist.’

‘The Australian Government is always looking for better ways to help new arrivals settle into their new community,’ Minister McGauran said.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kate Pratley - 0413 601 303