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Minister announces new immigration advisory council.

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Minister announces new immigration advisory council

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, today announced the establishment of the Council for Immigration Services and Status Resolution.

The council will provide independent advice on the implementation of measures associated with the government’s immigration policy initiatives including New Directions in Detention and the national rollout of the Community Status Resolution Service.

‘The Government’s focus is on resolving the immigration status of people quickly and fairly while ensuring they are treated humanely and with dignity and respect,’ Senator Evans said.

‘The council will provide independent advice on policies, services and programs to achieve timely, fair and effective resolution of immigration status for people seeking asylum or other migration outcomes in Australia.

‘The terms of reference and membership of the council reflects the range of expertise required to implement the Government’s New Directions in Detention policy.’

The council, which succeeds the Immigration Detention Advisory Group, will meet for the first time on October 21 to identify priority issues to be addressed over the next two years. The IDAG provided valuable advice on the adequacy of detention services, accommodation and facilities at immigration detention centres around Australia.

The new council will also advise on the suitability of facilities and service delivery arrangements but its major focus will be on assisting the department with strategies to resolve a person’s immigration status in a community setting rather than in a detention centre provided they pose no risk to the community.

The council will be chaired by Paris Aristotle AM, director of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture and a former member of Immigration Detention Advisory Group with more than 25 years’ experience in the field.

Other members will include:

z Air Marshal Ray Funnell AC (Retd) - former Chief of Air

Force and a former member of IDAG, Air Marshal Funnell will serve as the deputy chair for the group z Ms Kerrin Benson - chief executive officer of the

Multicultural Development Association z Mr Noel Clement - general manager of domestic

operations for the Australian Red Cross z Ms Caz Coleman - project director of the Hotham Mission

asylum seeker project

Senator Chris Evans Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

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z Ms Libby Lloyd AM - chair of the former National Council to

Reduce Violence Against Women and was recently appointed to chair the Violence Against Women Advisory Group z Dr Maryanne Loughry - associate director of Jesuit

Refugee Service-Australia. Dr Loughry is a psychologist, a research scholar at Boston College and the University of Oxford and a member of the Governing Council of the International Catholic Migration Commission z Associate Professor Harry Minas - director of the Centre for

International Mental Health, University of Melbourne and the Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit, he is a former member of IDAG and chair of the Detention Health Advisory Group (DeHAG) z Associate Professor Nicholas Procter - Associate

Professor, school of nursing and midwifery, University of South Australia z Dr Jamal Rifi - Dr Rifi is the 2009 NSW Local Hero of the

Year and Recipient of 2007 Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission Award. He is a former Commissioner for the Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW, a general practitioner and an active community volunteer z Professor Samina Yasmeen - director of the Centre for

Muslim States and Societies at the University of Western Australia and a current member of the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council (AMAC).

‘I believe the new group will provide valuable perspectives and their community links will help to strengthen the provision of community services to immigration clients in support of timely case resolution,’ the minister said.

The minister acknowledged the work of members of the previous Immigration Detention Advisory Group.

‘I’d like to acknowledge and thank the valuable and long-standing contribution of members of the Immigration Detention Advisory Group since its establishment in 2001,’ Senator Evans said.

‘Their independent expert advice provided to the previous and current government has been greatly appreciated.’

Information about the Council for Immigration Services and Staus Resolution (CISSR) - Terms of Reference is available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's website. See: Council for Immigration Services and Staus Resolution (CISSR) - Terms of Reference

See: Index of Media Releases

URL: /media/media-releases/2009/ce09094.htm Last update: 09 October 2009 at 16:34 AEST

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