More then $38 million to enhance Australian settlement services

Thursday, June 16th, 2011 @ 1:59PM

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, and Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, today announced the Australian Government will spend $38.5 million next financial year on services to help refugees and migrants settle into their new communities.

From 1 July 2011, a total of 179 new projects delivered through 148 organisations will be funded under the Government’s Settlement Grants Program (SGP), which aims to help refugees and migrants become self-reliant, contribute to the national economy, and acquire crucial skills and knowledge about life in Australia.

“The Government has increased funding for this important grants program because we understand it makes a real difference for new arrivals, assisting them to successfully settle in the community and build rewarding lives in Australia,” Mr Bowen said.

“Projects funded under the program help refugees and migrants make the transition to their new Australian life by building on their existing skills and equipping them with the tools they need to become self-reliant.”

Senator Lundy said there were many innovative projects being funded this program year, which would make a very real difference to the lives of many of our new arrivals.

“The services provide practical assistance to people who are starting new lives in Australia, help create valuable links to the wider community, and empower migrants and refugees to become self-reliant,” Senator Lundy said.

“A program in Brisbane teaching school-age migrants and refugees about the Australian legal system and their rights and responsibilities, and an initiative promoting social inclusion among youth through sport in Melbourne, are just two projects funded under the grant program that we know make a real difference in helping recent arrivals successfully settle in the community.

“I thank and commend settlement grants-funded organisations for their immense contribution to the positive and successful settlement of people who are new to our nation.”

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 applicants in the 2011-12 funding round is available on the Department of Immigration website at www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/delivering-assistance/settlement-grants

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