Corowa’s Who Is My Neighbour Refugee Network will hold their Annual General Meeting later this month, where opportunities will be explored for refugee families to live and work in the region.
Who Is My Neighbour (WIMN) has hosted weekend visits by refugees living in the Dandenong area in March last year and this year.
These events have involved all the Corowa churches, the Corowa Community Garden, Corowa Guides, Corowa Lions Club and Corowa and District Landcare. Federation Council has been very supportive, and local businesses have been extremely generous, including some large donations from Cann’s Bus Lines, Corowa Bakery, Woolworths and IGA.
Most importantly, the Corowa community has welcomed the visitors, by providing meals, accommodation and friendship.
Since then WIMN has linked with an Albury-Wodonga refugee support network Sanctuary group, has received a small Federal Government grant to help fund the most recent weekend and has had some approaches from Dandenong and Albury migrants and refugees who are considering moving to Corowa.
While WIMN want to continue to run the hosting weekends for the Dandenong refugees, they also want to explore opportunities for refugee families to live and work in the town or region. However if this was to happen there would be much to do.
The Annual General Meeting will have a guest speaker - Edwina Hayes, Director of Regional Development Australia Murray. RDA Murray is a not-for-profit organisation, which acts as a connector between the three levels of government, businesses and local communities supporting regional economic, social and environmental development.
RDA Murray aims to improve business development and adaptation, workforce and population growth and regional connectedness for greater opportunities.
Edwina is a Social Worker with experience of the requirements for successfully supporting refugees. RDA Murray has worked with the Walla Walla Refugees Resettlement Community Committee, and she will talk about the practical steps that are needed if Corowa has some migrant refugee families move into the region.
To attract and retain new residents from refugee backgrounds to Corowa, employment, accommodation, social support and the provision of services are vital. The RDA Murray can help Corowa bring these things together.
The links that WIMN have established with the Sanctuary group will also provide very valuable support to Corowa if some migrant refugees do come to live in our region.
The AGM will be held at St John’s Parish Hall, Federation Avenue, Corowa on the 18th July, starting at 7:30 PM. For further information or to RSVP, contact the group’s Secretary, Maris Berry on 0409 188 542 or [email protected]