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Wollongong City Council

Position Statements Register

MatterMatter MatterWollongong as an Inclusive City - Refugee Welcome Zone
Date AdoptedDate Adopted Date Adopted30/11/2015
Date for ReviewDate for Review Date for Review31/03/2020
Responsible OfficerResponsible Officer Responsible OfficerGeneral Manager
DivisionDivision DivisionOffice of the Lord Mayor
Position StatementPosition Statement Position Statement

Council –

  1. Reassert its position as a Refugee Welcome Zone by continuing to support the settlement of refugees and affirming Wollongong as a community which promotes harmony, social cohesion and respect for human rights and dignity.
  2. Affirms its position to be an inclusive multicultural community. We recognise the history of our City is one of successive groups of refugees and dislocated people being welcomed and included in our community. We will work to facilitate and protect the rights of all and remind our citizens of their obligations.  In this context we affirm the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) especially Articles 5 and 14 – Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Article 14: 1 Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. 2 This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Background/HistoryBackground/History Background/History
13/08/2018 - Notice of Motion - Cr Cox - reaffirm position
27/06/2016 - Notice of Motion Cr Takacs reaffirms position: Reaffirms its 2005 commitment that the Wollongong Local Government Area is a Refugee Welcome Zone.
 
30/11/2015 - Lord Mayoral Minute, background provided by Lord Mayor:
Wollongong City Council has made a declaration with the Refugee Council of Australia as a Refugee Welcome Zone – along with 86 other Councils nationally.  This Declaration provides a commitment to welcoming refugees into our community, upholding human rights, demonstrating compassion and enhancing the cultural and religious diversity in our community.  Wollongong has embraced multiculturalism over many decades and is home to people from many different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.  After English, the main languages spoken at home are Macedonian, Italian, Arabic, Mandarin, Greek, Spanish, Serbian, Portuguese and Turkish.  In more recent times we have welcomed Burmese, Burundian, Congolese, Togolese, Liberian, Sierra Leonean, Sudanese, Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian refugees into our community. Wollongong has reputable, well-established migrant and refugee settlement services which are both government and non-government organisations. Mainstream services with adjunct specialist refugee services and programs tasked to provide support for refugees includes settlement advice, learning English programs,  job seeking, education and training, family and community services, youth services, immigration applications and advice, advice on services available from government departments, trauma counselling, cultural awareness training.  Illawarra TAFE, Navitas, Illawarra Multicultural Services, SCARF, Multicultural Community Council of the Illawarra and many more organisations are equipped and ready to welcome and assist in settling newcomers.
Minute No. 170