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Refugees thriving in Nihl Victoria

Karen people from the Thai-Myanmar border have moved into the community in Victoria's Wimmera region, keeping the job sector healthy.
From refugees camps to the streets of Nhill, the Karen people thriving in regional Victoria.
More than 100 refugees have found a home in the farming town, including Plawtapoe Ganemy-Kunoo.
"We're very blessed to be here, we're very lucky," she said.
"Many Karen people they call Australia heaven compared to other countries." 
Ms Plawtapoe Ganemy-Kunoo moved to Australia when she was seven, but only arrived in Nhill 12 months ago. 
"The community here are very friendly, tight-knit and supportive or each other," she said.
"You don't find that in a larger community."
Her story is featured in this exhibition at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne. 
The photographer is Melissa Powell, who is based at Natimuk in the Wimmera.
"The image I shot of her and her husband, I really wanted to show new love in the Wimmera as it could be for anyone else, for any the locals," she said.
The refugees say they feel safe in Australia and are putting their agricultural skills to use on the region's farms. 
They are dotted around regional Victoria and also live at Horsham and Bendigo, but about half of the Karen population in Nhill work at the Luv-a-duck meat processing factory. 
The Wimmera Development Association has credited the refugees for boosting the poultry business and allowing the company to increase its production levels. 
"With the employment comes families," said the association's Jo Bourke. 
"We have a number of children at kindergarten and Karen people have become an important part of the community," 
"Apart from the economic benefit to business, it's created a quite a bit of new work so we've got 20 students at the secondary college so that supports the activities there."
The exhibition leaves Melbourne on Sunday, but the local council is pushing for the photos to go on show at Parliament House in Canberra before the end of the year.

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