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Family and Social Support

SCoA Policy Focus – Mental Health

In Semester 2, 2017, SCoA was pleased to host a student through the Australian National Internship Program. Rebecca is studying psychology at the ANU and embarked on some research into the mental health of refugees and the impacts of social engagement. You can download a copy of her research below. A number of SCoA members provided valuable insights to Rebecca's research and we thank them for their time. If you have any further thoughts about this issue, or would like to discuss it further, please contact our National Office on 02 6282 8515 or

Building a New Life in Australia: 27 November 2017

Stories of Making Australia Home

SCoA member, Sydwest Multicultural Services has created an inspiring book which shares the stories of some of Australia's newest citizens. Exploring themes of employment, education, health, social engagement, family and many more, this collection of stories is a message of hope and a celebration of all that Australia stands to gain by welcoming refugees and helping them settle.

See the report here.

Empowering Migrant and Refugee Women

This report explores various aspects of service delivery to migrant women who have been living in Australia for at least five years. It documents the nature and types of service available, and identifies best practice principles and key service gaps in service delivery for migrant and refugee women. This report also outlines key priorities for addressing these service gaps.

View the report here.

NSW Settlement Partnership – In Focus

The New South Wales Settlement Partnership In Focus Publication The NSW Settlement Partnership recently launched the report "In Focus" an overview of the Partnership and its amazing work across New South Wales. To access the report and read about some of the work of the NSP, click here.

Beginning a Life in Australia

The Department of Social Services (DSS) has prepared a comprehensive information booklet detailing key information for those building their lives in Australia. The booklet provides helpful settlement information, including links to other resources, for people who have recently come to Australia and people who are helping them. Available on the DSS website in over 20 languages, the book is of great value and highly recommended.

Building a new life in Australia


The Building a New Life in Australia project is a longitudinal study of refugees in Australia and maps their experiences over a series of years. This study is being undertaken by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, with information collected by Colmar Brunton Social Research. The project is commissioned and funded by the Department of Social Services.

Building a New Life in Australia aims to identify factors that impact the settlement of humanitarian migrants in Australia, in the hope that it will help improve policy development and program delivery for Australia's settlement sector.

In 2017, the AIFS will be releasing its first comprehensive release of the study's findings.

For more information, visit the project, here.

SCoA Submission to Senate on Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill – September 2016

The strengths that families bring to the settlement process are well documented. Family provides significant support during the challenging process of settlement, leading to long-term personal, social, community and economic benefits. Families can be a built-in social network reducing isolation and providing emotional support. They can share economic burdens such as cost of housing. They support each other to navigate new cultural and government systems. The role of the family in Australia’s settlement programme therefore cannot be underestimated. This submission was released in September 2016

SCoA Submission to Temporary Parent Visa review – August 2016

SCoA recognises and celebrates the enormous value that family migration contributes to Australia, often in non-traditional economic terms including providing social and emotional support and fulfilling family roles including childcare. This is especially clear in the settlement sector, where family reunion can play a vital role in the successful settlement of people from refugee backgrounds. This issue was the focus of our Issues Paper on Family Reunion, released in August 2016.

SCoA Policy Brief: Domestic Violence (2013)

SCoA had played an active role in addressing issues of domestic and family violence in new and emerging communities. This included a range of workshops in 2017 in which we partnered with Lifeline to deliver DV-Alert seminars for the settlement sector. We are also an active member of the White Ribbon reference group for CALD Communities. We will continue to bring relevant and useful information to the sector on this crucial issue. For a detailed look at domestic and family violence, please see SCoA's 2013 Policy Brief, below.