2023 National

Settlement Conference

Building the future together

23-24 November | Melbourne


Wednesday 22 November

Welcome Reception
5:30- 7:30 pm

Sponsored by Community Migrant Resource Centre and MultiLink Community Services

Melissa Monteiro, SCOA Chair | Michael Zgryza, SCOA Deputy Chair
Dr Bulent Hass Dellal AO, Chair, Multicultural Framework Review Panel
Manal Younus, Spoken word poetry performance
Zaynab Farah, Spoken word poetry performance

Thursday 23 November

Conference Day 1

8:00am  |  Arrival- Registration open

9:00am  |  Welcome to country- performed by the Bunurong tribe

Preeti Jabbal, SBS, Conference MC
Melissa Monteiro, SCOA Chair

9:15am  |  Keynote Speaker- Hon Minister Andrew Giles MP, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

9:30am  |  Plenary Session- From Lived Experience to Professional Insight

This panel will discuss the role of people with lived experience in delivering and leading settlement services. The panellists are professionals and leaders in the settlement sector, and also have a variety of lived experiences.

Samira Husic, MercyCare
Farzana, Community Migrant Resource Centre
Joseph Youhana, HOST International
John Buraho, CORE Community Services
Facilitator: Jasmina Bajraktarevic-Hayward, Chair of Settlement Advisory Council

10:30am  |  Morning Tea

11:00am | Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1: Supporting new arrivals with disabilities

Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM, Doctor, National Ethnic Disability Alliance
Nyrob Majak, Advocate
Cathy Preston-Thomas, NSW Refugee Health Service
Facilitator: Pino Migliorino AM, Cultural Perspectives

Breakout 2: Collaborating for more impactful influence

Neil Pharaoh, Tanck
Rory Parker, Tanck
Facilitator: Melissa Monteiro, SCOA Chair

Breakout 3:Bridging the gap between academia and practice

Dr Louise Olliff, Refugee Council of Australia 
Rebecca Griffiths, SBS
Loudeen Lam, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute 
Facilitator: Michael Zgryza, MultiLink Community Services Inc

Breakout 4: Brokering housing solutions

Kate Colvin, Homelessness Australia
Sonia Di Mezza, Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services
Cath Scarth, AMES Australia
Facilitator: Mirsia Bunjaku, Australian Migrant Resource Centre

12:00pm | Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1: Frameworks for the settlement sector- current state and future directions

Julie Robert, Settlement Council of Australia
Grace Keppel Benson, American University
Andrew Kiley, Department of Home Affairs
Facilitator: Rose Dash, Multicultural Australia

Breakout 2: Emerging research in settlement

Prof Farida Fozdar, Curtin University
Dr Pilar Rioseco, Australian Institute of Family Studies
Facilitator: Angelica Svensson, AMES Australia

Breakout 3: Supporting communities to be their own advocates

Farhad Arian, CORE Community Services
Sam Matti, Australian Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Advocacy Network
Rana Ebrahimi, Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network
Facilitator: Shabnam Safa, National Refugee-led Advisory and Advocacy Group

Breakout 4: Regional models for delivering settlement services

Andrea Obeyesekere, Centacare FNQ
Dr Charishma Ratnam, Deakin University
Sharon Daishe, Mosaic Multicultural Connections
Facilitator: Ann Foley, Multicultural Community Services of Central Australia

1:00pm  |  Lunch

Poster presentation session- dedicated session where presenters to be available to answer questions about their poster from attendees.

2:00pm | Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1: Improving health policy and practice for migrants and refugees

Carita Davis, Department of Health and Aged Care
Sheetal Challam, Cancer Institute NSW
Dr Olayide Ogunsiji, Western Sydney University
Facilitator: Kwame Selormey, Melaleuca Australia

Breakout 2: Future directions in complementary pathways for refugee settlement

Lisa Button, Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia
Sarya Alsayed, Talent Beyond Boundaries
Emily Chipman, UNHCR
Dr Sally Baker, Australian National University
Facilitator: Paul Power, Refugee Council of Australia

Breakout 3:Our role in supporting women experiencing violence

Maha Abdo OAM, Muslim Women Australia
Prof. Jo Spangaro, University of Wollongong
Constance Jones, African Women’s Federation of South Australia
Facilitator: Maria Dimopoulos AM, Myriad Kofkin Global

Breakout 4: Addressing inequity within multicultural affairs and settlement

Dr Nora Amath, IWAA
Renee Dixson, Forcibly Displaced People’s Network
John Kamara, 2023 Tasmanian Australian of the Year
Facilitator: Erfan Daliri, Kind Enterprises

3:00pm  |  Afternoon Tea

3:30pm  |  Plenary Session- What was key to your successful settlement?

This panel will bring together prominent people of migrant and refugee backgrounds who have excelled in their respective fields, to explore the elements of success in their own and their families’ settlement journeys.

Akec Makur Chuot, Hawthorn Football Club
Om Dhungel, Author
Hedayat Osyan, CommUnity Construction
Facilitator: Mandi Wicks, SBS

4:30pm  |  Day 1 Conference Close

Thursday 23 November

25th Anniversary Gala Dinner
7:00- 11:00 pm

Sponsored by the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia

MC: Darren Mara, SBS
The Hon. Cassandra Fernando MP
Mary Ann Geronimo, Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia
Melissa Monteiro, SCOA Chair and Sandra Elhelw, SCOA CEO
Music by Zourouna and Serena

Friday 24 November

Conference Day 2

9:00am  |  Arrival

9:30am  |  Welcome

Preeti Jabbal, SBS, Conference MC

9:35am  |  Keynote Speaker: Senator Fatima Payman, Senator for Western Australia

9:45am  |  Performance by Bukjeh 

Bukjeh translates to a ‘small pack of belongings carried by travelers’. Bukjeh brings together refugee storytellers to create and tell their own stories through the art of performance. 

10:30am  |  Morning Tea

11:00am  | Current state and future directions

Sandra Elhelw, Settlement Council of Australia
Huy Truong, Settlement Advisory Council
Mary Ann Geronimo, Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia
Facilitator: Pino Migliorino AM, Cultural Perspectives

Designing the future state of Australia’s settlement system

In these breakouts across Day 2 of the conference, leaders in the settlement sector will present work they have led over the past year to re-imagine various elements of Australia’s settlement system. The presentations will be designed to garner proactive input from conference attendees. This is your opportunity to feed your thoughts in to the settlement sector’s collective advocacy for an Australia where all migrants and refugees belong, thrive and live fulfilling lives. 

12:00pm | Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1: Empowered settlement journeys

Lead: Christine Castley, Multicultural Australia

Breakout 2: Working with local migrant and refugee communities

Lead: Clement Meru, SydWest Multicultural Services

Breakout 3: Driving research and systems change

Lead: Diana Sayed, Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights

Breakout 4: Supporting newly arrived refugees to get their first job

Mirsia Bunjaku, Australian Migrant Resource Centre
Cindy Carpenter, Bread & Butter Project
Carmen Garcia, Community Corporate
Facilitator: Violet Roumeliotis AM, SSI

1:00pm  |  Lunch

2:00pm | Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1: Connecting with other sectors and broader Australian society

Lead: Esta Paschalidis-Chilas, Canterbury City Community Centre

Breakout 2: Supporting workforce and organisational capacity

Lead: Dor Akech Achiek, SSI

Breakout 3:Building monitoring, evaluation and data capability

Lead: David Keegan, HOST International

Breakout 4: Moving beyond entry level: Career progression for migrants and refugees

Chantal Mousad, CareerSeekers
Robyn Matthews, Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services
Betina Szkudlarek, University of Sydney Business School
Facilitator: Violet Roumeliotis AM, SSI

3:00pm  |  SCOA AGM

3:30pm  |  Wrap up and Conference Close

Poster Presentations- Application Form and Guidelines 

Applications are now open for Poster Presentations at the 2023 National Settlement Conference: Building the Future Together.  

Presentations may focus on any topic related to our key conference themes: 

  • Examples of good practice in delivering settlement services 
  • Showcasing effective partnerships with local communities 
  • Effective cross-sector collaboration 
  • Research and advocacy on issues affecting migrant and refugee communities 
  • Innovative policy solutions to settlement issues 
  • Emerging research in settlement 

    Posters will be displayed for the duration of the Conference in the poster display area, with a designated poster session on Thursday 23 November 2023.  There will be prizes for the best posters, including “People’s Choice”. 

    How to submit an abstract? 

    You can submit your abstract by completing the Application for Poster Presentation Form and sending it to julie.robert@scoa.org.au.  

    Poster Presentation Guidelines are available here.

    Abstract applications are now closed.

    For questions about poster presentation and submission, contact: 

    Julie Robert , Sector Development Lead