Latrobe City has been declared a Refugee Welcome Zone.
The certificate signing ceremony was held on 21 March 2016 in the Tarwin Pop Up Park in Morwell, with a number of invited guests and community members in attendance. Former Latrobe City Mayor Cr Michael Rossiter signed the certificate on behalf of Latrobe City.
Latrobe City has a long history of celebrating and recognising the considerable contributions made by successive generations of migrants and refugees who have chosen to call Latrobe City home. These migrants and refugees have brought a broad range of skills, experiences, language and cultures to our municipality.
According to the 2016 Census data approximately 15,863* of Latrobe City residents were born overseas. The five most common languages spoken at home are Italian, followed by Greek, Mandarin, Dutch and Maltese. The five most common countries of birth include England, Netherlands, New Zealand, Italy and Scotland.
Latrobe City is a vibrant social and culturally diverse community comprised of people from many different nations across the world.
The Refugee Welcome Zone initiative began in Australia in June 2002 as part of Refugee Week celebrations. As of 2020 there are 30 Local Government Authorities across Australia who have declared themselves Refugee Welcome Zones. There are currently 166 Refugee Welcome Zones in Australia.
A Refugee Welcome Zone is a Local Government Area which has made a symbolic commitment to welcoming refugees into the community, upholding their human rights, demonstrating compassion and embracing cultural and religious diversity in the community.
By declaring Latrobe City Council a Refugee Welcome Zone Council clearly commits support to the men, women and children who make the journey to Australia. It also signifies our commitment to support people who have been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disasters.
*Note: the numbers may include people who did not state their country of origin. Interpret with caution. Information sourced from the Gippsland Multicultural Strategic Plan 2017 – 2020.