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'Small towns Big returns - Economic and social impact of the Karen resettlement in Nhill' was launched in Melbourne on April 23rd by the Assistant Minister for Employment, The Hon. Luke Hartsuyker MP. The report found that like many other regional towns Nhill faced a declining working-age population and the resultant loss of services and amenities and the flow-on implications for the economic and social prosperity of the town.

The program to resettle refugees in the town of Nhill town has resulted in positive outcomes for the refugee families and added more almost 100 jobs and more than $40 million to the local economy, according to the economic impact study.

Since early 2010 about 170 Karen refugees from Burma have been resettled at Nhill.

The study also identified significant social outcomes stemming from the resettlement program, including: the arrest of population decline; revitalised local services and increased government funding; and, an increase in social capital across both communities.

The study found the necessary factors in the success of the Karen resettlement included: the availability of employment and accommodation; strong leadership in the host community; a welcoming host community; support for the new families; management of the degree and complexity of 'cultural adjustment' on both sides; and, settlers prepared to adapt to a new environment.

This link will take you to the Report on AMES

The report was also featured on television's 'The Project' View the video here