Newly arrived migrants have received a package aimed at helping them to settle in Shepparton.JOHN LEWIS December 9, 2013 4:12am
Senior Goulburn Valley Freemason Geoff Thompson, Afghani migrant Ali Mohammed and Uniting Care Cutting Edge new arrivals support services manager Teresa Carney with the Welcome Packs for new arrivals.
Newly arrived migrants were handed ‘‘welcome packs’’ at a special afternoon tea in Shepparton yesterday hosted by Uniting Care Cutting Edge.
About a dozen folders containing community access information were handed out to people from different cultural backgrounds gathered at the Sacred Space hall in Maude St.
UCCE’s new arrivals support services manager Teresa Carney said the compilation and distribution of the packs was made possible by a $7000 donation from the Freemasons Public Charitable Foundation.
‘‘This will make it much easier for people to access all the important information they need. For the first time the information is collated all together in one place,’’ Ms Carney said.
Ms Carney said the packs contained emergency telephone numbers, websites and contact details for organisations such as Greater Shepparton City Council, Centrelink, and the Australian government’s Humanitarian Settlement Services program.
The pack also contains a list of Shepparton GPs, a map of the UCCE regional area, a guide to household waste management, tax information, a calendar, details on obtaining a driving licence, a map of parking in Shepparton, information on traffic offences and fines, and Shepparton bus timetables and routes.
‘‘Arriving in a strange place with no information can be very daunting. This pack is an important start,’’ Ms Carney said.
She said each pack can be tailored to specific ethnic groups with information available in different languages.
The funding will enable 500 packs to be distributed during the next three years.
About 70 have been handed out so far.
Senior Goulburn Valley freemason Geoff Thompson said his organisation was pleased to help.
‘‘We felt this was a great way to support our immigrants. It keeps everything together in one spot,’’ Mr Thompson said.
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