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Swan Hill welcomes asylum seekers - ABC RN program repeat Friday 9 May 2014

Why are refugees from Afghanistan and Africa clamouring to settle in the town of Swan Hill in regional Victoria?

In 2013 the Scanlon Foundation's social cohesion studies showed that 25% of us have negative sentiments towards migrants from The Middle East, and that 28-45% of us are troubled by Muslims. These numbers are growing, but not in Swan Hill.

If Swan Hill is a litmus test of our national psyche the results may surprise you. So what is it about this Mallee town on the edge of the Murray that is causing it to buck the national trend? Is it the long running youth theatre project Marruk Marruk? Is it Harmony Day? Or is it the ladies at golf who need help with their gardening?

Lyn Gallacher ventures beyond the pioneer settlement, the giant cod in the car park and the paddle steamers to meet the town behind the tourist brochure and what she discovers is a town that's changed a lot since she was a child.