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Welcome to Swan Hill

a radio feature produced by Lyn Gallacher

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 place that’s changed a lot since she was a child.

Listen to the program here …

Welcome to Swan Hill

Further Information


Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement


The Marruk Project on Vimeo

Harmony Day Swan Hill





Sound Engineer—John Jacobs


Producer—Lyn Gallacher




© 2014—Lyn Gallacher & ABC RN

Filed under: radio features, works