Some of the Northern Grampian's major organisations want to grow the conversation around the valuable impact new migrants have in the area.
Representatives from Grampians Community Health and Northern Grampians Shire Council attended the Rural and Regional Migration Initiative launch in Horsham on Wednesday, which is designed to get organisations that work with and support migrants in Western Victoria working together to ensure skilled workers move to the areas they are needed most.
Greg Little, chief executive of Grampians Community Health, said attracting migrants was important to an organisation like his that regularly has to contend with skills shortages.
"We're also a community development organisation and we want to be able to provide social support and welfare," he said.
"We see that when new migrants are at work in their communities, they've got a job and a purpose. But for their partners and their families and for themselves when they're not at work, they need to be integrated within our community to find that purpose."
The forum heard of the success of Luv-a-Duck in attracting migrants of Karen ethnicity from southeast Asia to work at its plant in Nhill. Mr Little said managing director John Millington's words about the community being entirely on board with pushes for more migration resonated with him.
"It's about people in our community understanding the need but also the vibrancy that can come from having new people and cultures come into our community. So we are interested in having that good community conversation about how this can grow the Grampians region."
Northern Grampians Shire Council investment attraction officer Linley Hoiles said the organisation wanted to make connections with the others in the room, to see how they could help with its Opportunities Pyrenees Ararat Northern Grampians program.
"We've recently gotten together with Ararat and Pyrenees shires and advertised for a project manger to look at issues such as migration, housing, transport and other services and what's needed to attract people to work here," she said.
"As we talked about on Wednesday to address skills shortages you need to address housing shortages, community supports and how that all works together, so hopefully the OPAN project will identify what shortages we have and how to deal with those."
Representatives from Frew Group Abbatoir also attended the forum.
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