Road to Belonging: 
A Collective Strategy for Australian Settlement Services 

Migration is a core part of Australia’s story. Unless we are First Nations People, we are of migrant origin. 

With both the migration and humanitarian intakes increasing, Australia is set to welcome approximately 1 million people over the next five years. All those who choose to make Australia home will undergo a process of settlement whereby they adjust to life in Australia. At the same time, Australia needs to continually adapt to ensure it is inclusive of those we welcome to our shores. 

The Australian settlement sector exists to make this process of adjustment as smooth as possible, ensuring successive waves of newcomers belong, thrive and experience fulfilling lives. In the face of increased migration it is more important than ever that this sector be as optimised as possible to welcome new arrivals. 

It is within this context that SCOA led the development of a collective strategy for Australian settlement services. SCOA worked with 46 individuals from different settlement organisations, peak bodies, government departments and other key stakeholders – many with lived experiences – to co-design an ambition and roadmap for the settlement sector. It was important to include a diverse range of perspectives as the settlement sector cannot achieve good settlement outcomes alone. Settlement is a whole of community process, and for a person to be welcomed in a society, all its constituent parts must be welcoming.