Immigration attends Melbourne’s Kurdish New Year

 Free phone cards to “call home” with important messages about Australia’s changed refugee processing arrangements and increased humanitarian and family visa places will be distributed as part of new year celebrations in Melbourne this weekend.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will join Melbourne’s Kurdish community on Sunday (March 24) celebrating Nowruz/Newroz, the Persian new year, staffing an information booth promoting awareness of the dangers of people smuggling and the regular ways to migrate to Australia.

Departmental officials will be on hand at the Coburg North event to answer questions and distribute information on the changes to Australia’s migration law for people arriving by boat.

“This is a wonderful event and we are proud to be a part of it,” a DIAC spokesman said today.

”Australia is a diverse nation which welcomes people from all cultures but we encourage them to come here through safe and regular migration channels.”

There will be traditional Kurdish food, music, dancing, as well as a photo booth and popcorn machine on hand.

The DIAC information booth will include online access to the department’s website and a $5 international phone card for people to contact family members at home to spread the message. 

The spokesman said engagement with diaspora communities was part of a broader campaign by the Australian Government to stop the tragic loss of life at sea and to encourage people to come the regular way to Australia.

“The simple message is – tell your family and friends overseas to come the right way. Don’t risk being sorry,” the spokesman added.

For more information on the ‘Don’t be sorry’ campaign visit:


Media Enquiries: National Communications 02 6264 2244

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