The Orana region: A place to call home

In the past decade, the Orana region has become a hub for skilled migration, with local communities providing as many reasons to make the move as potential
job opportunities.

Dubbo resident Jose Sunny (pictured) received a warm welcome from the locals when he first arrived in the regional city in 2008 after being advised
it would be a difficult transition.

“When we planned to come to Dubbo the next advice given was Dubbo is not a place where you can find a lot of multiculturalism, you’ll be isolated and
so forth but that is all now gone, it’s a perfect place.”

In 2007, Mr Sunny relocated from India to Wollongong to further his studies in psychogenic and secondary education. He was soon offered a job at St
John’s College, Dubbo and found a home and community of which he is proud to call home.

“The reception which you get from the local people is amazing. I have never had a bad experience, it’s been about ten years we have been living here
and I think I’m part of the furniture now.”

Mr Sunny credits the warmth of the community as to why people nominate Dubbo and the surrounding areas when choosing to move to Australia. In 2017,
RDA Orana received 217 visa applications for the Orana region. So far, 73 applications have already been received in 2018.

Even with an accepting community, there are many other factors that make integration complicated for individuals. Mr Sunny said community groups such
as Dubbo-based ORISCON (Orana Residents of India Subcontinental heritage) and ORUMA (Orana Regional United Malayalee Association) do ease the process.

“In all respects, moving from one country to another country takes a while for people to get acclimated so there should be a way to actually make it
easier for them. The organisations that we have got in Dubbo now are actually delivering.”

These community groups provide a base for the migrants and run various multicultural festivals to celebrate the different cultures, and locals become

“The whole idea that we are celebrating multiculturalism spreads across to the local people as well.”

“Ten years ago, people in regional cities were not exposed to this stuff. Now that the events have gone on a bigger scale which involves all people
from different parts of the world, people come and get to know the cultures. Wider exposure is now available.”

RDA Orana executive officer Megan Dixon said the region has become a vibrant community and a large part of this stems from the individuals that now
call the region home and the passion they have for sharing their culture with local people. With no sign of slowing down, multiculturalism is expected
to continue to grow in the Orana region.

“Our region is experiencing positive expansion across a number of sectors. Combined with a large injection of public and private investments in the
pipeline, increased migration is an important component of our growth, adding a skilled labour force, cultural diversity and a strengthened economy.”/ENDS