Fact Sheet 97 – Humanitarian Settlement in Regional Australia

We have directly settled humanitarian entrants in regional areas for some years now.

Over the last several years around 20 per cent of humanitarian entrants have been directly settled in regional locations, including Shepparton, Launceston, Albury, Coffs Harbour, Toowoomba, Townsville and Mount Gambier.

While the majority of humanitarian settlement occurs in metropolitan areas, many humanitarian entrants have successfully settled in regional communities or have subsequently moved to regional locations. The settlement of humanitarian entrants in regional locations can have benefits for both humanitarian entrants and receiving communities, for example:

  • maintaining and building capacity in regional areas
  • providing employment opportunities for humanitarian entrants while increasing support for local employers
  • increasing cultural diversity and vitality.

When looking at opportunities to settle humanitarian entrants in regional areas, a number of key factors are taken into consideration, including the existence of suitable accommodation, employment opportunities, health services and opportunities for new arrivals to connect with and feel safe in a new home with a welcoming community. Other important factors in regional towns include sufficient infrastructure and the availability of settlement, mainstream and community services to support new arrivals.

A range of settlement services including the Humanitarian Settlement Services program, the Adult Migrant English Program, the Settlement Grants Program and Complex Case Support are available to clients in regional locations. These services provide a range of settlement services, English language and other learning opportunities to help new arrivals settle in the community. Humanitarian entrants are able to access more than one settlement service simultaneously as long as there is no duplication of service type.

Recent research shows that humanitarian entrants in regional locations settle well in terms of their social, economic and personal wellbeing.

In settling humanitarian entrants, the department needs to ensure it provides the best assistance possible to each person. Some people, for example, experience torture or trauma before arriving in Australia and therefore need to be settled initially in larger cities where they can access suitable counselling and other services. Others have existing 'links' in Australia, such as family, friends or their proposer and are therefore settled near their links so that they can receive valuable social and settlement support.

Further information

Further information about settlement services for humanitarian entrants is available on the department's website.

Evaluations of the department's regional settlement pilots in Shepparton, Mount Gambier and Ballarat are available on the department's website.

Further information is available on the department's website.
See: www.immi.gov.au

The department also operates a national general enquiries line.
Telephone: 131 881
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. Recorded information is available outside these hours.

Fact Sheet 97. Produced by the National Communications Branch, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Canberra.
Last reviewed March 2013.

© Commonwealth of Australia 2009.

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