Bill's Media Releases

Extra funding to enhance local migrant services

A migrant resource centre in Brimbank has been granted an extra $40,000 to assist refugees and migrants become self-reliant and settle in Melbourne’s West, the Member for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten, announced today.

The Migrant Resource Centre North West Region, based in St Albans, will receive funding under the Gillard Government’s Settlement Grants Program, which aims to help refugees and migrants become independent, acquire crucial skills and knowledge about life in Australia and contribute to the national economy.

“I am delighted that the North West Migrant Resource Centre will receive the financial support they need to continue to provide practical assistance on the ground to help our newest community members,” Mr Shorten said.

“The Government recognises the important role community organisations play in helping migrants and refugees settle as quickly as possible and build rewarding lives in Australia.”

Mr Shorten said the Migrant Resource Centre will receive an additional $40,236 in the coming financial year, on top of more than $1.8 million already committed by the Gillard government over the next three years.

“The extra $40,000 for next financial year will fund extra casework/coordination and community development.

"The Resource Centre’s service aims to increase independence, knowledge and the ability to navigate and access mainstream services among recently arrived migrants in Western Melbourne.

“Its work includes information sessions on life skills, employment and safety, mentoring, and youth services including a youth volunteer program and young parents group.

“These projects will provide new arrivals with the tools they need to become self-reliant and successfully settle in the community,” Mr Shorten said.

“This work is particularly important in Melbourne’s west, which is one of the fastest growth areas in the country, and also one of our most diverse regions.

“The services will assist refugees and migrant families strengthen their connection to their local area and the wider Australian community, encouraging participation, engagement and inclusion,” Mr Shorten said.

Funding through the Settlement Grants Program is targeted to assist refugees, family sponsored migrants and the dependants of those on skilled migration visas with low levels of English.

During the 2013-14 financial year the Gillard Government is providing a total of $41.3 million to support new migrants and refugees through the Settlement Grants Program.  This includes $1.39 million in funding to support the implementation of recommendations of the Report of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers.

A complete list of successful applicants in the 2013-14 funding round is available on the Department of Immigration website http://www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/delivering-assistance/settlement-grants/funded-orgs.htm.

ENDS

Contact: Jayne Edwards 9326 1300 / 0410 455 737

jayne.edwards@aph.gov.au