Sun, 31/05/2009

Mary Porter AM MLA, Member for Ginninderra, helped launch the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services Open Day.

The Migrant Resource Centre and Settlement Services, MARSS, is very important in welcoming and assisting migrants and refugees to settle in the Canberra community, and recently Mary was happy to speak at its Open Day.

“When I first came to this country as a child, no such service was available. It is wonderful to see how people are now welcomed and supported through those early weeks and months.” Mary commented.

Many volunteers play an important role in providing this support and as many were migrants or refugees themselves, they know how it feels to come to a new country.

MARSS Open Day provides an opportunity for all members of the community to experience first hand the settlement services offered to refugee entrants. Mary Porter thanked the MARSS for their 30 years of excellent work in assisting many new migrants and refugees settle into the community through the provision of information, advocacy, English conversation classes, social groups, so important for sharing one’s culture and learning about other’s and, of course, referral to other services.

“Migrant settlement is not easy and community involvement can make a huge difference during this settling in period. Thanks go to the board of management, executive members, staff and volunteers of the organisation on their hard work, passion and dedication”.

We are fortunate to live in such a welcoming multicultural city and MARRS is an integral component of that success.