Family and Children’s Services Minister Rhonda Parker has today officially welcomed the East Timorese refugees to Western Australia.
The 400 refugees, many of whom are women and children, arrived at the Leeuwin Barracks from Darwin on Saturday.
Mrs Parker said that along with the rest of the world, Western Australians had been moved by the terrible suffering the East Timorese had experienced in their homeland that was so close to Australia.
“As neighbours, the people of the State have the opportunity to extend the hand of friendship by providing a safe place for the refugees at this difficult time,” she said.
“We hope their stay here will help heal the trauma they have experienced.
“With more than 190 nationalities, WA has a diverse population that is generous, tolerant and able to open its heart to those in need.”
To mark the arrival, Mrs Parker - on behalf of all Western Australians - presented the children with toy kangaroos and the adults with a fine china coffee mug made in the State.
Media contact: Owen Cole 9481 7810