About 600 skilled migrants move into the Orana region each year but not all of them stay.
Their departure proves costly to employers and undermines efforts to build the workforce of a region with an unemployment rate of three per cent.
Research, feedback from migrants and employers have led Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana to turn its attention to the "settlement" of migrants through The Welcome Project.
This week federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton announced $49,500 from the Fostering Integration Grants program to launch the project that will involve collaboration between RDA Orana and members of ORISCON (Orana Residents of Indian Sub-Continent Heritage).
RDA Orana's director of regional development, Megan Dixon, reports that ORISCON has been showing leadership "around migration and migration issues".
“The Welcome Project will include a series of activities and workshops in partnership with ORISCON, education on employment for migrants, developing resources to support migrant entry into remote and rural communities and an annual welcome to the Orana event,” she said.
The director told the Daily Liberal that the annual event might be held across several communities, possibly Dubbo, Mudgee and Bourke, in conjunction with ORISCON functions.
Chair of ORISCON Mano Manorathan said its members actively assisted new migrants to settle into the Orana region by availing them with "a sound social and cultural platform".
He said working collaboratively with RDA Orana would allow ORISCON to "go one step further" and increase its capacity to meet migrant needs which in turn would "foster sustainable development" in the region.
More than $7.9 billion worth of projects are planned for the Orana region across the next five years, generating 5000 direct and indirect jobs.
The funding was welcomed in the same week as the federal government gave the green light to fast-tracking of visa applications for skilled migrants.
“This funding couldn’t have come at a better time, with the federal government also announcing this week regional employers and skilled migrants wanting to work in the regions will be given access to priority processing on visa applications," Mrs Dixon said.
“RDA Orana are now aiming to become the most successful inland regional area for migration."
RDA Orana chairman John Walkom has welcomed the grant as an opportunity to help make migrants "feel more" welcome and encourage social inclusion in the 12 local government areas in the region.