Leeton Shire Council hosted a group of key community stakeholders from Western Sydney last week as part of the NSW Growing Regions of Welcome (GROW) pilot program.
The GROW program aims to strengthen the capability of regional communities and attract and retain interested newcomers from Western Sydney.
The tour was organised by the Western Sydney Employment Hub run by Red Cross in partnership with Regional Development Australia Riverina and supported by Multicultural NSW, Leeton Shire Council, Temora Shire Council and Multicultural Council Wagga Wagga.
The GROW pilot program aims to connect interested people from migrant and refugee backgrounds living in Western Sydney with lifestyle and employment opportunities in regional NSW.
Planning for the three-year pilot program commenced in June 2021, with the official launch held in Leeton last year.
The Western Sydney visitors went on a sightseeing trip through Leeton, a tour of the Southern Cotton Gin and a scrumptious dinner at the Whitton Malt House attended by key stakeholders from Leeton businesses and the community.
Council’s Community Development Coordinator, Emily Goodall said she was very pleased with the visit.
“It was remarkable hearing everyone’s stories and their journeys to get to Australia. From the feedback we received, they were blown away by what Leeton has to offer and will be recommending the Shire as an excellent place to find work, live and raise a family,” Ms Goodall said.
Leeton Shire’s Executive Manager Economic & Community Development, Michelle Evans was excited to welcome the first family that moved to Leeton through the GROW program.
Margaret Jemeli and Amos Talam, originally from Kenya, relocated to Leeton in February from Western Sydney. Margaret is a Project Officer with Stahmann Webster, and Amos is an experienced Disability Support Worker at Griffith Post School Options (GPSO).
“It’s taken a lot of hard work and collaboration by many talented, passionate people to get to this point,” she said.
“Our warmest welcome to Margaret and Amos and their kids who have decided to make Leeton their home.
“We wish them great success in their new jobs and personal lives and hope they will advocate to others for the great opportunities that exist in Leeton and the Riverina,” she said.