On the 27th of November Settlement Council of Australia held its annual symposium and AGM at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. The purpose of the symposium was to take a deeper look at the personal journeys of refugees settling in Australia, and the role of those who assist in that process, and to discuss how this may impact the work of the sector into the future. This was a successful event thanks to our guest speakers and participants who brought with them a wealth of knowledge to share at the Symposium. At this event SCoA also launched its annual report.
The settlement symposium attracted more than 80 diverse participants from around Australia and featured presentations by Mr Thomas Albrecht of the UNHCR, Mr Adam Rowland of the National Centre for Longitudinal Data, Dr Alison Baker and Ms Linda Kabasha of New Change, Dr Devaki Monani, and Ms Anna Cirocco of Calvary Hospital.
Thomas Albrecht conveyed his warm congratulations to the settlement providers for the wonderful work they have done in Australia, which sets an international standards for settlement service providers and governments to learn from. Adam Rowland briefly presented trends and findings found in the DSS – Building a New Life In Australia report, which is the first long-term study of humanitarian migrants to Australia, capturing the first three waves. Dr Alison Baker and Ms Linda Kabasha of New Change brought lived experience and insights on schools’ approach to welcoming refugee students. Dr Devaki Monani shared preliminary findings about her research in regional social cohesion and settlement. Ms Anna Cirocco shared Calvary Hospital’s mentoring program helping refugee and migrant students gain work experience.
These speakers presented unique insights into different aspects of the settlement journey and provided a good basis from which to consider the future of the National Settlement Services Outcomes Standards.
After these presentations, SCoA Chair Dewani Bakkum hosted SCoA’s Annual General Meeting, followed by a lovely lunch overlooking Lake Burley Griffin.
SCoA thanks all our members and participants for joining us this year at the Settlement Symposium. We look forward to meeting everyone at our future events and to share with you in celebrating the many successes of the Settlement Sector in the future.