Young children playing together on grass with mums nearby
Programs to support refugee students and families begin with early childhood education. © NSW Department of Education and Communities

Supporting Refugees



Government agencies, non-government organisations and community groups often work together to support settlement needs in health, education, employment and basic services.
School - University partnerships can enhance the capacity of schools to meet the diverse needs of their student populations. Some examples of partnerships in education are:

(LEAP)Macquarie University

The Learning Education Aspiration Participation (LEAP) Macquarie Mentoring program aims to support NSW high school students from refugee backgrounds who strive for higher education. Macquarie University students work with the students, furthering the school students' knowledge about the tertiary education system in Australia, broadening and raising their aspirations towards further study, and empowering them to make informed decisions about their future.

Refugee Action Support (RAS)

The Refugee Action Support (RAS) program is a language and literacy tutoring initiative coordinated by the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation, in partnership with universities. Volunteer pre-service teachers, social workers and speech pathologists are recruited and trained to provide weekly one-on-one and small group support for young students of background who are enrolled in participating NSW high schools and primary schools.

Ready Arrive Work (RAW)

Ready Arrive Work (RAW) is a vocational program for recently arrived students from a refugee background. RAW comprises school based activities, workplace and community engagement events. Students are assisted to explore vocational learning pathways in a supportive and positive environment to gain a better understanding of employment, workplaces, career planning and the pathways which can lead to a successful career after completing school.

Beginning School Well

Beginning School Well is an initiative developed by the NSW Department of Education to support refugee children and their families when they start school. The program aims to strengthen the confidence and resilience of refugee families, and foster a sense of belonging in communities.

The program provides a supported playgroup at school that provides play-based sessions in a relaxed and welcoming environment. A trained coordinator facilitates the sessions. Both the children and parents who are participating in the program receive support from a local mentor who speaks the family’s home language and understands the complex needs of refugee families. Throughout each playgroup session, the facilitator and the mentor demonstrate quality play learning experiences that parents may replicate at home. Information about relevant topics including child development, child safety, health and hygiene is provided for parents. Children gain an understanding of school routines and classroom expectations.