People from across Ararat Rural City are being invited to a special lunch event to celebrate World Migrant Day next month.
Ararat Rural City Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the event would celebrate the contribution of migrants to the municipality, helping create more cohesive, empathetic and welcoming communities across the region.
Dr Harrison said the event is part of Opportunities Pyrenees, Ararat and Northern Grampians (OPAN), a regional migrant and refugee resettlement project that aims to match families with host communities and employment opportunities within the three municipalities.
The World Migrant Day Lunch will bring communities together to keep them informed of the project and help prepare the region for an increase in cultural diversity in the region.
“The aim of OPAN is to establish a sustainable, long-term regional migrant resettlement model for families,” Dr Harrison said.
“This program is being run by AMES Australia through an Australia Government Try, Test and Learn program grant, and includes funding for a Regional Migration Support Officer working across Pyrenees, Ararat and Northern Grampians local government areas.
“The Try, Test and Learn Fund is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Social Services.”
Dr Harrison said he was looking forward to the lunch, which would include addresses from Ararat Rural City Council Mayor Cr Jo Armstrong and local resident Manzoor Mian, who is also a Victorian Multicultural Commission Regional Representative. The lunch would also include a presentation from OAM recipients John and Margaret, who were instrumental in the success of the Karen people moving to Nhill to live and work.
The World Migrant Day Lunch will be held on Wednesday 18 December from 12.30pm to 1.30pm at the Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre, 31-33 Lambert Street, Ararat.