The city of Queensland welcomes the newest refugees from Australia

<pre><pre>The city of Queensland welcomes the newest refugees from Australia

One of the largest Yazidi refugee communities in Australia now calls home to the regional town of Toowoomba, in southeastern Queensland, just over a year after the first beneficiaries of humanitarian visas arrived.

The newly arrived Yazidi refugees from Syria participated in the first multicultural festival of & # 39; Languages ​​& Culture & # 39; from his hometown.

Spokesperson of the group dance group Rojavae Kadaan Jamo.

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"A year ago I was here in Australia, I am very happy with the people, with all the lovely people of Australia, with a pleasant climate, all charming," said refugee Kadaan Jamo, spokesperson for the Rojavae Group dance company.

The Yazidi musicians and dancers performed and had a traditional food stand.

Australia agreed to take thousands of Yazidi after the UN and Australia declared the massacre, horrific torture and abuse of IS as genocide.

Thousands of refugees have settled in Toowoomba in the last 16 years, first from countries such as South Sudan and Chad in Africa, then from Iraq and Afghanistan and last year about 500 Yazidi from Syria.

The mayor of Toowoomba, Paul Antonio.

The mayor of Toowoomba, Paul Antonio.

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"One thing about all these people who come here is that they have an absolute will to contribute to our economy," said Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio, who oversaw the city's declared "Refugee Welcome Zone". 39; in 2013.

"What I am discovering is that they came here to do a series of things, one is to work, one is to establish a home and another is to educate their children.

"But we have to assess whether communities the size of Toowoomba have the capacity to deal with this, we do not need enclaves, we need integrated people within a few years."

This year, Toowoomba's "Young Australian of the Year" is Prudence Melom from Chad, who came from a refugee camp 11 years ago and can not speak English.

"I feel that Toowoomba really gives young people the opportunity to excel in what they are passionate about," he said.

"I would really prefer to live in a place like this because coming from a refugee camp, going to a city would be such a big change for me."

Toowoomba has a population of approximately 160,000 people and Ms. Melom attributes its success to the feeling of the region's community and its support for employment and mental health.

"I think it's coming in. We've come a long way since I arrived in 2007 and I've seen a big difference and I think people are becoming more open."

She will graduate from law at the local University of Southern Queensland later this year and wants to focus on human rights.

Prudence Melom received the honor of being the "Young Australian of the Year" from Toowoomba.

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He is concerned about the current rhetoric about African refugees.

"I heard the comments the prime minister made about African gangs, and listening to his comments was quite disappointing and damaging, and should diminish it," he said.

The large Toowoomba migrant community is celebrated at the annual festival, which takes place this year before the first national regional resettlement conference.

"Many smaller regional centers are really struggling and are really interested in how they build their population," said conference organizer Kerrin Benson of Multicultural Development Australia.

Kerrin Benson of Multicultural Development Australia

Kerrin Benson of Multicultural Development Australia.

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"Recently the refugees began to settle in Armidale, Coffs Harbor, Wagga, Shepparton, so there are regional settlements throughout Australia.

"Obviously, employment and affordable housing are important, but when we talk to refugees it's when they start making friends and you feel like you belong and the regional centers have always been excellent at that."