Services provided in the community
Many organisations in our community provide services to refugees and people seeking asylum, such as help with money, employment, housing, and legal advice. To learn more about services provided for refugees and people seeking asylum refer to the service directory produced by the Refugee Council of Australia.
Core Community Services
Core Community Services provides a range of services for the community in South Western Sydney, including youth services and settlement services for newly arrived people from refugee backgrounds.
Parents Café, Fairfield High School
Parents’ Café Fairfield was initially set up with a government grant to provide an informal, welcoming environment for refugee families. The Café began as a weekly lunch with information sessions on a range of topics such as:
- nutrition, health and wellbeing
- schooling in Australia
- educational pathways for students
- Australian laws and taxation
- recreational activities for families
- services available (such as hospitals, TAFE, RMA, Centrelink)
Parents were given the opportunity to chat, ask questions and request sessions that interested them. Interpreters were made available. Field trips were organised so that parents could visit service centres together. The program later expanded to include regular workshops and activities such as:
- English language through cake decorating
- basic computer skills
- women’s health
- physical fitness.
A Community Garden was set up in partnership with the Department of Health, STARTTS and the Centre for Sustainable Living. A Community Kitchen was set up and later developed to form a social enterprise catering business where refugee parents worked together to cater for events, develop skills and gain work experience.
Fairfield Parents’ Café grew to become a hub for the school, the community and for parents and families to come together and share information, develop new skills and meet new friends. Both government and non-government organisations connected with the Café coordinator to establish community programs. Service providers came to the café because they knew parents would be there. Refugee parents who attended felt that coming to the café helped them to settle in Australia.
The Fairfield Parents’ Café received international recognition and was nominated as a world best practice model for the resettlement of refugees by the UNHCR.
Youth Services (SYDWEST Multicultural Services)
SYDWEST Multicultural Services provides a range of youth services and programs to support young people from a refugee background. They work in partnership with schools, Blacktown Police, the local library, health practitioners and other service providers to address settlement issues that impact on the academic performance of refugee and migrant students.