Melburnians signing up in droves with MP's office to welcome Syrian refugees

Greens Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt MP today said he had been overwhelmed by the nearly 1000 people who have signed up with his office in less than 24 hours to provide practical support to arriving Syrian refugees.

"We launched our 'Melbourne Welcomes Refugees' project and almost 1000 people put their hand up on the first day to provide practical support to refugees," Mr Bandt said.

"Melburnians aren't just putting compassion back on the national agenda, they're opening their arms at home too."

“Here in Melbourne, over 10,000 people joined thousands more across the country to call on the government to take strong and compassionate action to support Syrian refugees."

“Once the government made the welcome decision to accept 12,000 Syrian refugees above our usual intake, I knew that the outpouring of empathy and compassion from Melbourne and throughout Australia would see people wanting to do more.”

“I am proud that Melburnians have long stood up for the rights of people seeking asylum and refuge and want to continue to support people who are creating their new lives in our city.”

“If you'd like to contribute toys, food or even help host a welcome dinner with refugees in Melbourne, visit www.adambandt.com/welcome and we'll put you in touch with local agencies.”

The Melbourne Welcomes Refugees project was launched on Thursday afternoon. As of 3pm on Friday, 916 people have signed up and this number is continuing to grow. The project will connect people in Melbourne wanting to help with local organisations already doing work to support and welcome refugees in Melbourne.

The options listed on the website include helping to host a dinner to welcome refugees to their local community; mentoring refugees for their first few months in Melbourne; attending a rally to stand with refugees; and contributing financially or donating food, toys and other resources to local organisations working with refugees.

Media contact: Adam Pulford, 0429 109 054

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