Women from multicultural backgrounds smile for a group photo
Community workshops help families to feel confident interacting with Australian schools and other services. © NSW Department of Education and Communities

Supporting refugees


In Australia, when people from refugee backgrounds are settled into communities, there are many things for the (federal, state and local) governments to consider:

  • healthcare
  • housing
  • education (including access to English language classes)
  • finding employment
  • community support services
  • interpreters and translations
  • finance / financial support
  • mental health services.

Commonwealth government-funded programs

The federal government provides settlement services for people who arrive in Australia with a valid humanitarian visa through the:

The federal government provides some assistance to people who arrive in Australia and seek asylum with no visa status, through the:

NSW state government-funded and non-government organisations

There are also a number of NSW State Government funded organisations are involved in providing support for people from refugee backgrounds. Some of these include:

Many Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) also work in support of refugees, both in Australia and overseas. Some NGOs receive funding to deliver services and programs for refugees, such as:

Local councils

integrated into their new communities. Some local councils have established Refugee Welcome Zones.

“A Refugee Welcome Zone is a Local Government Area which has made a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into the community, upholding the human rights of refugees, demonstrating compassion for refugees and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in the community.” Refugee Council of Australia [PDF]

The Refugee Council of Australia Settlement Policy Network highlights the importance of coordination between organisations working to provide services and support for people from refugee backgrounds.