The Naracoorte Migrant Resource Centre has been officially opened

OFFICIAL OPEN: Australian Migrant Resource Centre CEO Ms Eugenia Tsoulis, the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC and Australian Migrant Resource Centre chairperson Judge Rauf Soulio at the official opening of the Naracoorte Migrant Resource Centre. Photo: ELISABETH CHAMPION
OFFICIAL OPEN: Australian Migrant Resource Centre CEO Ms Eugenia Tsoulis, the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC and Australian Migrant Resource Centre chairperson Judge Rauf Soulio at the official opening of the Naracoorte Migrant Resource Centre. Photo: ELISABETH CHAMPION

The Naracoorte Migrant Resource Centre has been officially opened in a formal ceremony on Saturday.

The centre moved from it's former home at the Naracoorte TAFE to Smith Street last year, but it has now been officially opened by the Governor of South Australia Hieu Van Le.

Mr Le said that he was "delighted" by how culturally diverse Naracoorte had become, and spoke on his own experiences as a refugee many years ago.

"It has welcomed a considerable number of immigrants into the local community and it welcomed many many people from Afghanistan, the Philippines, Laos, Pakistan, Pacific Islands, and many many others," he said

"Some of you would be aware, Lan and I were refugees - 43 years ago, we landed in Australia after a long arduous, dangerous journey.

"Even though it was 43 years ago, it feels like yesterday, when I recall what those early days were like - very very difficult.

"We arrived with no family, and little more than the clothes on our back, we had to start all over again, with everything, but while we had no relatives and no friends, we were not alone in these challenges.

"So many individuals and community groups came forward to help us.

"You get such a strong sense of welcoming, and feel that we belong to this land, and this community. We began to feel that South Australia was not just a place of refuge and a safe place, it could be our home.

"Over the years I have been very pleased to here Naracoorte be referred to as a model, perfecting welcoming and accepting new settlers.

South Australia Governor the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC opens the Naracoorte Migrant Resource Centre. Photo: ELISABETH CHAMPION

South Australia Governor the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC opens the Naracoorte Migrant Resource Centre. Photo: ELISABETH CHAMPION

"It has been wonderful to see the support offered to these migrants to help them integrate into the community."

Chairperson of the Australian Migrant Resource Centre Judge Rauf Soulio said the centre had a long association with Naracoorte and the Limestone Coast.

"We watched the community grow from five or six afghani families in the early 2000s to now, a sizeable, culturally diverse community working across many industries, buying houses in naracoorte, establishing businesses and calling Naracoorte home," he said.

"We look forward in the coming years to a increased family reunion program - we have many sole men here waiting for citizenship and waiting to be reunited with their families.

"The launch of the Naracoorte Migrant Resource Centre is a testament to the fact that the Australian Migrant Resource Centre is committed to providing settlement services to across the Limestone Coast."