As published in The Border Chronicle.
Written by Louise Horobin.
Photo: Bordertown MRC and Tatiara District Council’s ‘Building on Our Diversity’ event, as part of Refugee Week 2018.
The Tatiara is getting behind the nation’s soon approaching annual Refugee Week.
Refugee Week brings issues affecting refugees to surface and celebrates the positive contributions refugees make to Australian society.
The Bordertown Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) and Tatiara District Council have teamed up to form community event ‘building on our diversity’ which will take place at the Bordertown MRC at 5-7pm on June 22.
Bordertown MRC multicultural community service coordinator Tracey Grosser said the aim of the event is to collaborate between the refugees and the local community and celebrate the positive contributions refugees make to the Tatiara.
“There’s about 500 migrants and refuges living in the Tatiara and most of them are here because they are working at the JBS meat processor,” Mrs Grosser said. “They contribute economically – they’re renting houses, shopping, working and spending money in Bordertown.
“They are adding a social fabric to Bordertown that adds diversity and colour.”
Mrs Grosser said although there are many positive contributions refugees make to the area, there are also some challenges.
“Any change comes with challenges that we need to work through together with the refugees and the local community,” she said. “It’s up to the refugees and the local community to work on community development and integration together.”
“It takes everyone, not just one side.”
Mrs Grosser said she is hoping community events such as ‘building on our diversity’ catalyse the process of collaboration between refugees and the local community.
The Highway Christian Centre hosted women’s event XO United on last Sunday as part of Refugee Week.
Highway Christian Centre church member Janine Neumann said the event was to be inspired and encourage one another.
Mrs Grosser said with the community participating in more collaborative events, eventually the Tatiara can look forward to potential new businesses, food and culture that usually follow with refugee and migrant integration.
“Generally everyone (Tatiara refugees) is working at the JBS and that second step hasn’t quite come yet but it is definitely something the Tatiara can potentially look forward to.”
For more information on ‘building on our diversity’ contact Mrs Grosser on (08) 8752 1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org