SSI News Blog

Thousands of people around the country celebrated cultural diversity and Australia’s commitment to humanitarian values at Walk Together on October 31.

SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said she was proud that SSI could support the annual event, which was a strong show of support from the public.

Speaking in front of hundreds of participants at the Sydney event, Ms Roumeliotis thanked the public as well as community and political leaders for their support.

“I’m very proud that our organisation, Settlement Services International, was again able to sponsor Walk Together this year.,” Ms Roumeliotis said.

“It’s such a wonderful show of support from the community for an Australia that is welcoming to new people, and that is proudly committed to humanitarianism.

“At SSI we work with communities to settle refugees who are fortunate enough to be brought to Australia. And we provide support for people who are seeking asylum in NSW.

“The support of the Australian community — all of you — plays an incredibly significant part in helping these new arrivals to settle in Australia.

“Knowing that the Australian people welcome and accept them, is a powerful message for new arrivals to this country. It goes a long way to helping them settle here and be part of our way of life.   

“This event acknowledges that no matter where we come from, Australians will accept people for who they are — free of pre-conceived stereotypes or culturally-based misconception. 

“Australia is a nation that has prospered because of its great diversity. More than a quarter of all of us were born overseas, and almost a half of the population has at least one parent born overseas.

“So multiculturalism really is something to celebrate in Australia.”

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Refugee turned citizen feels privileged to have a say

Paz Roman smiling to camera.At 17, Paz Roman was nominated as Young Australian of the Year, mostly for her volunteer work. Ironically, she wasn’t an Australian. She came here from Chile as a refugee with her family when she was just a baby, and despite living in Australia since then, she struggled with the idea of becoming a citizen.  

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