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Darebin City Council offers refugees and asylum seekers free access to leisure services

Darebin City Council offers refugees and asylum seekers free access to leisure services
December 30, 2019

Darebin City Council in Melbourne's Northern Suburbs is offering a group of refugees free access to its aquatic and recreation centres, libraries and sporting clubs.

The refugees, currently detained at the Mantra Hotel in Preston, were in offshore detention before being transferred to Australia for medical treatment.

At least 40 men who were brought to Australia under the now repealed medevac transfer scheme have been held at the Hotel.

One of the men being held at the Hotel, Moz, told the ABC he had been locked in his room for up to 19 hours a day and did not have access to outdoor space.

Explaining that she had written to the Federal Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton, offering the refugees and asylum seekers access to the council's services, Darebin Council Mayor Susan Rennie stated "we're obviously concerned that there were people living in our municipality who don't have access to all of the facilities and services that our residents have access to."

Mayor Rennie said she was hopeful the Federal Government would seriously consider the council's offer, adding "we're able to be really flexible in the way in which we make these services available.

"We could even, for example, make a visiting library available to the Mantra Hotel."

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre's Campaigns Manager Marcella Braffett said it was heartening to see the council offer its services to the asylum seekers.

Braffett added "I think it is a wonderful offer, especially coming at the holiday time.

"It is a gesture of community, a gesture of hope, and offers some kind of relief to the men being held in detention."

Image shows Darebin City Council's Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre.

Related Articles

3rd October 2019 - YMCA hosts Multicultural Youth Leadership Camp to help young refugees overcome barriers

30th September 2019 - Architects aim for highest standards in sustainability in rebuilding of Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre

3rd June 2019 - Belgravia Leisure awarded for Refugees Breaking Down Cultural Barriers Program

26th February 2018 - City of Darebin hosts transgender-only swim night at the Reservoir Leisure Centre

10th January 2018 - Australian University Sport Awards recognise Kicking goals together refugee project

7th March 2017 - New netball courts open in Darebin

6th April 2016 - Celebrating the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

11th November 2015 - Darebin City Council healthy food options get YMCA backing

13th March 2015 - Sports Without Borders 2015 Conference looks to combat discrimination in sport

5th October 2014 - Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre saves water and energy

6th September 2014 - Reservoir Leisure Centre’s sustainable future

25th May 2012 - Sports without Borders conference to address inclusion in sport

29th June 2010 - Former refugees football club wins ASC Award

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