The Balonne Shire, in partnership with Care Balonne, will create a welcoming and supportive multicultural community over the next three years thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Queensland Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs.
Mayor Richard Marsh said Council was excited to work with Care Balonne on this important community project.
“The project will help us create a welcoming and supportive community for migrants and the indigenous and the rest of our community,” he said,
“The welcome funding will allow our team to work with the residents and businesses to meet Australia Standards for ‘Welcoming Cities’ accreditation and establish a welcoming community for skilled migrants.
“This will be done through community consultation, events and workshops and will allow Council’s fully-funded Multicultural Development Officer to research and audit current community resources to meet the needs of all migrants.
“From there we will create a Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan for Balonne Shire.”
Cr Marsh said it was important for the community to understand the cultures within our borders and be open to welcoming migrants.
“Our shire population is shrinking and this project will target those skilled migrants, and their families, to provide missing skills and also boost our numbers,” he said.
“We want to assure residents that they will be consulted and we welcome their feedback.”
Other activities planned include:
- Creating a Steering Committee consisting of members of different cultural and business backgrounds
- Hosting an event during Harmony Week to allow whole community to engage in different cultures
- Workshops and educational sessions which will include indigenous language to bring the whole community together and give residents a better understanding of the culture of our traditional land owners
- Sharing the cultures of the Balonne Shire via a video linked to Multicultural Month (interviews with migrants and indigenous community members)
- Creating a genealogical history of the community to raise awareness that we were all once migrants