Hindmarsh shire wants Karen exhibition to go to Canberra

HINDMARSH Shire Council wants photographs of Nhill’s Karen community to adorn the walls of the nation’s political powerhouse.

Chief executive Tony Doyle said council was putting together an application for the Seeking Refuge in Nhill exhibition to be displayed at Parliament House in Canberra.

The exhibition comprises 18 snapshots by Natimuk photographer Melissa Powell.

It shows how a small town in rural Victoria has become home for about 120 Karen refugees.

“It’s a really positive story about the difference a great refugee program can make on the individuals involved, and on the communities they join,” Mr Doyle said.

“It’s absolutely transformed the lives of the Karens who have come to Nhill, and at the same time enriched the community in Nhill by being exposed to their culture.”

The exhibition was a joint initiative involving the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Wimmera Development Association, Hindmarsh Shire Council, Melissa Powell Photography and the Immigration Museum.

It was launched at Nhill on March 21, to coincide with Harmony Day.

Until yesterday, the exhibition was showing at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne.

“We have had outstanding feedback in relation to the exhibition in Melbourne,” Mr Doyle said.

“Council received a number of unsolicited letters and emails from people congratulating us on the exhibition and stating how wonderful it is.”

Council will submit the application to Parliament House within the next month.

“I’m excited by the possibility the exhibition might go to Parliament House and the beautiful story of the Nhill Karen refugees can be appreciated by people from further afi eld,” Melissa Powell said.

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