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Vibrant banner designed by local artist to welcome Ukrainian refugees to Orange

Orange City Council is proudly displaying a colourful banner on its balcony, designed by local artist Christine Holmes-Redgum to show support to the Ukrainian community in Orange.

The banner, which was created in community workshops with Ukrainian, multicultural and local community members, features hand-painted sunflowers, butterflies, and messages of hope.

Orange Mayor Jason Hamling said this initiative will help newly-arrived Ukrainian families feel welcome.

Colourful banner designed by local artist Christine Holmes-Redgum

“I am happy to see this new banner on display on the front of the Civic Centre. It shows our commitment to support refugees and all new members of our community,” Cr Hamling said.

“It is important that we publicly acknowledge people who have come from other places to live here in Orange.”

The new banner is based on the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag and has the words ‘Hope and Healing’ in both English and Ukrainian.

Couple Alex and Vika Kolokolov

Several groups, including Orange City Council’s Migrant & Refugee Support Service, RAR Orange (Rural Australians for Refugees), Team Ukraine, and the Orange Social Justice group collaborated to create the banner.

RAR Orange Chair Gill Hindmarsh said it is important to support new arrivals from all countries, especially Ukrainians who are seeking safety and rebuilding their lives.

“Supporting new arrivals from all backgrounds, is essential to show the love and care of our community,” Mrs Hindmarsh said.

“However, there is a particular focus on Ukrainians, who simply wish to rebuild their lives in a safe place, despite the heart ache of what is happening to their families and their homeland.”

Team Ukraine has been an important support to new Ukrainian families, providing practical assistance in finding accommodation, work, and transportation, as well as other essentials.

Recently arrived Ukrainian couple Alex and Vika Kolokolov were given a car by a community member to help them attend community English classes and orientate themselves around Orange.

“The generosity of our community in donating cars and other essentials to new Ukrainian families is a heart-warming example of the spirit of kindness and compassion that makes Orange such a special place to live,” Cr Hamling said.

“Orange City Council is proud to be a Refugee Welcome Zone since June 2019, and we will continue to work with our partners to provide practical support and assistance to refugees and new arrivals.”

Community members who wish to support refugees can contact Mrs Hindmarsh at RAR Orange for more information on 0412 432 417.

For further information, contact Orange City Council Migrant Support Officer, Anni Gallagher [email protected]

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