The Strathbogie Shire Council has made a commitment — in spirit — to welcome refugees into the community after recently signing the Welcome Scroll, an initiative of Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR).
Strathbogie Shire Council mayor Amanda McClaren said signing the pledge was about being a welcoming and compassionate community for refugees.
Cr McClaren said the drive to support the initiative — developed by the Refugee Council of Australia in 2002 — came from the council’s consultation sessions held earlier this year.
‘‘It became clear through the conversation cafes held in the eight townships that becoming a Refugee Welcome Zone was something incredibly important to the Strathbogie Shire community,’’ she said.
Strathbogie Shire RAR co-ordinator Ruth Fluhr said a friendly, helping hand made a huge difference in the transition of people to a new, productive life in a new country.
‘‘Diversity within community is a true strength, and Strathbogie Shire stands to receive many gifts in extending a welcome to people with an urgent desire to improve their lives and to contribute to their new community,’’ she said.