The Settlement Council of Australia (SCoA) is the national peak body for Australia’s dynamic settlement services sector.
Established in 2003 as the National Council of Migrant Resource and Settlement Agencies and incorporated as SCoA in 2008, we currently represent over 98 settlement agencies across Australia. Together, these agencies provide direct services to people of refugee and migrant background and help them with the difficult challenges associated with starting a new life in a new country.
The Settlement Council of Australia promotes effective settlement outcomes for migrants and refugees settling in Australia.
Our vision is for an equitable, respectful and inclusive Australia where effective settlement outcomes provide every opportunity to fully participate in society.
The Settlement Council of Australia works within a human rights framework, with a particular focus on:
- multicultural democracy
- social justice
- economic and civic participation
- social inclusion and social capital
- access and equity
We are guided by the following important principles:
- We draw on the expertise of our members and value their contributions;
- We acknowledge and applaud the fact that all major political parties in Australia are committed to maintaining non-discriminatory migration and humanitarian settlement programs;
- Australian society is made up of many ethnicities, cultures, faiths and identities: we ARE a multicultural democracy and, given that (along with other ‘givens’ such as the economic benefits of multiculturalism and social harmony) the current values of non-discrimination and multiculturalism must – with only marginal variations – be maintained into the foreseeable future;
- For these reasons, settlement services must continue to be funded by governments so as to ensure the inclusion of new arrivals into the broader Australian society as quickly and as effortlessly as possible;
- There is an inherent value in the engagement and participation of CALD community members and CALD community organisations in the settlement sector, even if they are not members of SCOA;
- Government, and its agents, must continue to make policy and program decisions based on adequate evidence. This evidence should include research that is informed by consultation with experts who work on a daily basis ‘in the field’; and
- Settlement services are delivered in an environment where the political agenda of the day can have an impact, and the settlement sector will continue to be flexible and innovative in response to the constantly changing domestic and international priorities that impact migration and refugee movement