Peak Body For Migrant And Refugee Services Welcomes Increase To Refugee Intake

Aug 11, 2023 | Media Release

Friday 11 August 2023

The peak body for Australia’s settlement services has commended the Government on increasing Australia’s humanitarian intake from 17,875 to 20,000 per year. The increase has been welcomed by the Settlement Council of Australia as an important signal of Australia’s leadership in responding to global conflict and displacement.

Settlement Council of Australia CEO, Sandra Elhelw, said “This announcement is a welcome response to the scale of humanitarian crises globally. More than 100 million people have been forcibly displaced globally, and over 2 million are awaiting resettlement. Every increase in Australia’s humanitarian intake represents an extra life that will be given another chance at safety and a fulfilling future.”

Chair of the Council, Melissa Monteiro said “Australia has one of the most advanced systems for supporting refugee resettlement in the world. This means that refugees arriving in Australia overwhelmingly settle well into Australia’s social and economic fabric. Not only do we gain from fulfilling our humanitarian obligations towards refugees, we also gain the fruits of their social and economic contributions.”

While the increased intake is a welcome step, the Council reiterated that Australia and its settlement services have the capacity to resettle an even larger intake. In recent years, Australia’s settlement services have supported large intakes from Afghanistan and Syria, and in decades gone by, from the former Yugoslavia and from Vietnam. 

Ms Monteiro added, “Our network of 125 member organisations stand ready and willing to support as many refugees as the government is willing to resettle. We look forward to supporting an increased intake to belong, thrive and live fulfilling lives in their new home.”

About The Settlement Council of Australia  

The Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA) is the peak body representing services across Australia supporting new migrants and refugees. We are committed to building an Australia where every migrant and refugee feels at home, together with our membership which is over 115 members strong and counting. We are a trusted source of policy advice, and a thought leader on enhancing the economic and social inclusion of migrants and refugees. The services of our members range from greeting new arrivals at the airport, through to assisting them to secure housing, learn English, make social connections, access services and find their first job. Australia’s settlement services are recognised as being among the best in the world. 


SCOA media enquiries:  

Mahsa Fratantoni, 0422 180 674