Refugee week highlights Australia’s refugee success

Australia’s important role in the successful international resettlement effort for refugees from Bhutan has been highlighted this week as Australia unites to celebrate Refugee Week.

The 100,000th refugee from Bhutan will be resettled globally from camps in Nepal at the end of 2015 – this is the largest United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees-led international resettlement effort of its kind.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton and Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash hosted an event at Parliament House to recognise Australia’s highly successful resettlement of almost 5,500 refugees from the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan.

“The Government is very proud that Australia has resettled the third largest group of refugees from Bhutan behind the United States of America and Canada. The Government continues to work cooperatively with our international partners to assist the international effort to support displaced and vulnerable people,” Mr Dutton said.

“The Bhutanese community particularly deserves recognition for building their own capacity and supporting each other to quickly gain employment and independent living.”

“Refugee week is fantastic opportunity to congratulate refugees across Australia who have worked hard to make Australia their new home and it is important we recognise how difficult it can be for someone who is displaced to start a new life in a foreign environment,” Minister Cash said.

“Refugees from Bhutan are a testament to community strength, with most having spent many years in refugee camps. In Australia, they have reached a balance of contributing to the Australian community while maintaining their heritage.”

President of the Association of Bhutanese in Australia (ABA) Sydney, Mr Om Dhungel, said his community’s independent settlement model had been crucial to delivering proportionately higher levels of employment and home ownership compared to other new migrant communities and they now want to share their experience.

“We feel blessed to have the opportunity to live with freedom and equality and our model allows people to quickly settle into Australia with dignity and to avoid reliance on welfare. We also want to share our cherished culture and expertise with the wider Australian community,” said Mr Dhungel.

The Government continues its commitment to the Humanitarian Programme, which offered 13,750 places in 2014-15 and will increase to 18,750 places by 2018–19.

Refugee Week is being celebrated around the country between Sunday 14 June and Saturday 20 June coincide with international events to mark World Refugee Day on 20 June.

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