A crowd turned out to the Orange Regional Gallery on Friday in celebration of diversity at a Dreams for Freedom event.
Held during Refugee Week, the event included the ratification of Orange as an official Refugee Welcome Zone.
The public announcement during Friday's Dreams for Freedom followed a council resolution last month that Orange would join over 148 Local Government Areas nationwide to declare itself a welcome zone.
Orange City Council noted during the meeting that there are people who have no option but to flee their homes and that global resettlement options for these people are rare and over-subscribed.
Councillors noted that all countries, especially the wealthiest like Australia, need to welcome refugees in any way they can.
Mums 4 Refugees Orange founder, Anna Noonan helped champion the cause, which was put forward by councillors Stephen Nugent and Joanne McRae.
Mayor Reg Kidd addressed the crowd at the gallery on Friday and spoke about the important role refugees play in Orange.
Cr Kidd said more than 130 nationalities make up Orange's demographic, with refugees from war torn Europe post WWII contributing to the prosperity of the city.
"As an affluent society we have an obligation to look after our fellow men and women," he said.
Cr Kidd said he "deplored" the racist commentary from some Orange residents responding online to the Central Western Daily's prior mentions of the Refugee Welcome Zone, which included the rhetoric 'look after our own first'.
"It's pretty easy for people to get on social media and make comments they wouldn't dare make during a public debate," he said. "They don't know how lucky they are."
Cr Kidd said the resolution would not have any direct impact on council policies towards refugees and it would continue to support the Orange services which assist new residents.
He pointed to Mums4Refugees, Orange Social Justice Group and council's own migrant support service which have made a positive contribution.
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