5 May 2014
Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Richard Marles has today joined Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon in holding talks about the settlement of local Afghan translators and their families into the local community.
About 300 special visas holders will call Newcastle and the Hunter home following their efforts supporting Australian coalition forces in Afghanistan.
“In many cases the translators risked their lives supporting our troops on the ground in Afghanistan and its only right that we return that mateship by helping them settle in our safe country,” Mr Marles said.
“When large numbers of people arrive at short notice there can be unique challenges in their settlement. I wanted to come and see for myself how we are supporting the Afghan translators and their families here in Newcastle."
Talks were held with key service providers and focused on the transition of the families into the community, including ongoing accommodation requirements and educational opportunities.
“Newcastle and the Hunter region has a strong track record of welcoming those displaced by war and conflict into our community. We've always stepped up in times of emergencies to help those most in need. The Afghan translators and their families are very welcome here in Newcastle,” Ms Claydon said.
“Having sacrificed so much of their own lives to support our troops on the ground in Afghanistan, Richard Marles and I want to make sure that these families are now adequately supported in Australia. We want to hear first-hand of their settlement experience, what is working and what more we can do,” said Ms Claydon.