Two leading organisations that are concerned with migration to Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop programs and initiatives aimed at supporting new migrants to the country.

Settlement Services International (SSI) and the Australian National Maritime Museum signed the memorandum with the aim of providing opportunities to:

♦ Experience Australian art, culture and history and help new arrivals to learn about the country, form new connections and gain knowledge, skills and confidence;

♦ Develop a more complete collection of stories of the migrant experience which is important in understanding Australian identity and ensuring people of diverse communities are reflected in the national story; and

♦ Strengthen workforce diversity with cross-cultural capability through volunteering and employment opportunities.

The SSI is a community organisation that supports newcomers and other Australians to reach their potential. It works with all people who have been vulnerable, including refugees, asylum seekers and culturally divers communities to build capacity and overcome inequality.

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The SSI’s chief executive officer, Violet Roumeliotis, said successful integration and integration were key targets for Australian migration policy particularly in enabling full participation by migrants in the country’s economic, social, cultural and civic life.

“While migration has slowed due to COVID-19 and we seek to build back better, public discussion about the benefits and challenges of a multicultural Australia should look at the evidence, and the experiences of Australians who are migrants and refugees,” said Ms Roumelitotis.

“I am sure this partnership between SSI and the museum will help illuminate Australia’s multicultural success story.”

The Australian National Maritime Museum is a national cultural institution that is responsible for providing a permanent gallery dedicated to the national migration story.

The CEO and director of the museum, Kevin Sumpton, said the formalising of the relationship was a good step forward

“We have long supported each other’s activities. We know the contribution of migrants, both financially and socially, to our nation.

“Both organisations understand the importance of cultivating an environment that enables new migrants to understand their new country and provide structures that can assist them in the process.”

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