The ACT Government has announced a new service to help community groups accommodate and support migrants, refugees and asylum seekers settling in Canberra.
Multicultural Minister Chris Steel will set aside funding to welcome and help integrate people from diverse, multicultural backgrounds into the Canberran community by assisting resource-strapped organisations.
The service will provide individual assistance to help migrants find housing and overcome trauma by referring them to appropriate health services, as well as help them find employment, legal assistance and navigate everyday issues like registering a car.
The program will receive $267,000 over three years.
The Multicultural Hub will deliver the Integrated Welcome to Canberra Support Service, giving advice and information to migrants in their first five years of settlement, Mr Steel says.
“The multicultural community told us that extra support was required to welcome newly arrived migrants, refugees and asylum seekers when they arrive in Canberra often without any resources,” he says.
The service will be coordinated by Multicultural Hub, Companion House and Red Cross, but will also link with organisations that provide existing support for new Canberrans, the minister says.
“We have listened to community needs and we’ve funded the development of the Welcome to Canberra Support Service to complement existing settlement services.”
Welcome to Canberra information packs will also be distributed in multiple languages to connect new migrants with community services.
The Territory is expecting to settle approximately 250 refugees in 2019-2020 according to the government.
An inaugural expo will be held during Harmony Week next year, followed by more regular events that will help to connect people with advice and social and economic opportunities in the ACT and surrounding regions, according to Mr Steel.
“With this kind of additional support, we hope to ensure our newest Canberrans can settle in with the support they need,” he says.
“Canberra is an inclusive and welcoming city and we want people to reach their full potential in their new city and participate fully in their communities.”