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Boost to settlement services for new migrants and refugees



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CHRIS BOWEN MP

MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP

SENATOR KATE LUNDY MINISTER FOR MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS

MEDIA RELEASE

20 June 2012

BOOST TO SETTLEMENT SERVICES FOR NEW MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES

The Federal Government’s latest round of settlement grants reinforces its commitment to help newly arrived migrants and refugees become self-reliant and successfully settle in Australia, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, said today.

Mr Bowen said the services funded under the program focused on assisting new arrivals to gain employment and access to education and training, but also included sporting activities, help to increase knowledge of Australian culture and navigating the rental market.

“Settlement services make a very real difference to the lives of many of our new arrivals, helping them to adjust to life in Australia and contribute to the community,” Mr Bowen said.

“This is about getting people ready for work, getting kids into school, and making sure they have every opportunity to make a success of life in Australia, further enhancing the productivity of our migration program.”

From 1 July 2012, a total of 97 new projects worth $39 million - and delivered through 95 organisations - will be funded under the 2012-13 Settlement Grants Program (SGP). The SGP aims to help humanitarian entrants and new migrants to acquire the skills and knowledge to fully participate in the community as soon as possible after arrival.

Senator Lundy said the SGP reaffirmed the Australian Government’s commitment to helping refugees and migrants successfully settle into their new communities.

“These services help people to make the transition into Australian life by building on their existing skills and, at the same time, help them to learn valuable new ones,” Senator Lundy said.

“They provide practical assistance for people starting new lives in Australia, help them create valuable links to the wider community, and empower migrants and refugees to become self-reliant so they can forge a better life.”

Some of the successful applicant organisations include migrant resource centres, multicultural service agencies, educational institutions, community groups and welfare organisations.

A complete list of successful SGP applicants in the 2012-13 funding round is available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website at www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/delivering-assistance/settlement-grants

Media Contacts: Bill Kyriakopoulos 0400 510 802 / Laura Stevens 0432 833 769 (Bowen) Jessica Hill 0407 926 077 (Lundy)