Submitted by kylie.smith on 21 January 2009 - 12:20pm.
Open Information Nights are held at Melaleuca from 5:30pm on the last Wednesday of each month and are a initiative of the community development team. The aim is to raise community awareness about refugee-related issues and provide an opportunity where information and experiences in relation to such issues can be shared and discussed.
January's theme is "Bhutanese Refugees".
Due to the Royal Government of Bhutan enforcing citizenship laws and stressing its Tibetan-based Bhutanese culture in the late 1980's, ethnic unrest occured in 1990 and saw more than 100 000 Nepali-speaking Bhutanese living in the south forced to flee and seek refuge in eastern Nepal. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) has recently begun planning for large-scale resettlement and other durable solutions for Bhutanese refugees.
Melaleuca will be welcoming families from this area in February and March 2009 to Darwin for the first time. There is a lot we need to prepare and learn about prior to arrival so we can do our best in making these new families feel most welcome. Please bring your thoughts and stories along to share, or just to listen to others. We plan to have some people share their stories about their time spent in Bhutan.
Entry is free and everyone is warmly welcome.