Active in Parks: New Migrants Program (Geelong)

Picture yourself thousands of miles away from your homeland, family, cultural references and an environment you know.

For hundreds of newly arrived migrants and refugees to our shores, Australia is both the land of their dreams and new hopes, and a land of mystery and challenges.

Diversitat, a Geelong settlement agency, and People and Parks Foundation have formed an alliance reaching out to new arrivals. Together we offer opportunities for newly arrived migrants and refugees to visit parks and experience nature in a relaxed and fun setting

This inspiring program has so far enabled Karen, Karenni and Afghani communities to experience Australia’s native flora and fauna at Geelong Region’s Serendip Sanctuary and Barwon River Parklands.

The participants have enjoyed guided wildlife discovery walks at Lara’s Serendip Sanctuary led by the Active in Parks and connected with some of our interesting birdlife.

People and Parks Foundation have also joined with Corangamite Catchment Management Authority Waterwatch to run a ‘Bird and bug discovery’ activity for Karen and Karenni communities.

This showcases the importance and wonders of the smallest aquatic life of the Barwon River. For many participants it was the first time they had interacted in such a meaningful way with the bush, and People and Parks Foundation is proud to continue to work with partners to provide a tangible connection with newcomers to our shores.