Acknowledging history and culture: Australia

“Many former refugees now call Canterbury-Bankstown home and contribute to our thriving community. We extend a warm welcome to all migrants and refugees no matter where they’re from.” — Mayor Bilal El-Hayek, City of Canterbury-Bankstown

Welcoming Australia has been a long-time partner in the Welcoming International Alliance and Welcoming Week. Across the country, Welcoming Week is an opportunity to uplift welcoming values and build relationships between Indigenous peoples, refugees, migrants, and everyone who calls Australia home.

During Welcoming Week 2023, Welcoming Australia used the overarching theme “Power of Place” to “spark reflection on how our places and spaces can advance belonging” in cities, workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, places of worship, and beyond.

The City of Hobart’s Welcoming and Inclusive City Portfolio Chair Zelinda Sherlock, Ph.D., said the theme was ideal for new residents living in the city. “This is a great opportunity to reflect on what it is that makes them feel welcome in Hobart before adding to the chalk welcome mat,” Dr. Sherlock said. “But it is a theme we can all reflect on, not just the newest members of our community.”

Importantly, Welcoming Australia offered a land acknowledgment recognizing that their work takes place on unceded Indigenous land and acknowledged “the generosity and important role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the work of Welcoming Australia and Welcoming Week.”