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

Supporting refugees


In Australia, when people from refugee backgrounds are settled into their local community, 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 on arrival settlement services for people who arrive in Australia with a humanitarian visa through the:

The federal government also provides funding for programs designed to meet the ongoing settlement needs of humanitarian entrants through the Settlement Grants Program (SGP).

The federal government provides some assistance to people who are living in the community on temporary visas, or who are in community detention while their application for refugee status is assessed through the Status Resolution Support Services. (SRSS)

NSW government-funded organisations

There are also a number of NSW State Government funded organisations that provide support for people from refugee backgrounds. These include:

Non-Government Organisations

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

Local councils

Many local councils have programs that support refugees to settle 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