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A Just Australia
Australian Refugee Foundation
Refugee Week

Latest News

Restricting legal assistance to asylum seekers increases dangers

The Australian Government's new restrictions on access to funded legal assistance for asylum seekers will increase the risk of people being returned to danger. Read more here.

Submissions sought for 2014 UNHCR-NGO consultations

Feedback from individuals and refugee community groups is being sought on current issues of concern for people living in refugee situations overseas to help inform advocacy at the annual consultations between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and NGOs at Geneva in June. Find out more here.

John Gibson Refugee Community Leadership Grant

Nominations are open for the annual John Gibson Refugee Community Leadership Grant which supports advocates from refugee backgrounds to take part in the UNHCR-NGO consultations at Geneva in June. Find out more here.

Stopping the boats: Australia's appalling example to the world

In a speech at a Yale Law School conference, RCOA chief executive officer Paul Power spoke about recent developments in refugee policies in Australia. Read the speech here.

No fairness and integrity in permanent Protection Visa freeze

The Australian Government's decision to suspend the granting of new permanent Protection Visas will add to the anguish of asylum seekers living in the community. Read more here.

Australia's asylum policy must change to avoid long-term damage

The Australian Government must change course on refugee policy to avoid long-term damage to the lives of asylum seekers. Read more here.

Denial of work rights for asylum seekers must be overturned

The denial of work rights to about 27,000 asylum seekers living in the community on bridging visas is creating fear and uncertainty and must be overturned. Read more here.

Manus Island disturbance a tragedy waiting to happen

The death of an asylum seeker and the injuries suffered by more than 70 others at Manus Island is an appalling tragedy and a failure of Australian Government policy. Read more here.

Refugee intake increase vital to meet urgent protection needs

RCOA has urged Australia to increase the number of refugees accepted under the offshore program to help bridge the widening gulf between global resettlement needs and available places. Read more here.

Use of Temporary Humanitarian Concern visas as an alternative to Temporary Protection Visas

The Australian Government has released details about its new alternative to Temporary Protection Visas. Read more here.

Inquiry into immigration detention of children welcomed

RCOA has welcomed an Australian Human Rights Commission inquiry into the immigration detention of children. Read more here.

Enough is Enough: It's time for a new approach

On the first anniversary of the report on the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, 64 Australian NGOs have called for a new approach to refugee and asylum policy that delivers protection to refugees. Read more here.


A vital national voice for refugees since 1981

RCOA was founded in 1981 by Paul Cullen (left), pictured here receiving the prestigious Nansen Refugee Award from the then UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Poul Hartling.



The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is the national umbrella body for refugees and the organisations and individuals who support them. It has more than 180 organisational and 700 individual members. RCOA promotes the adoption of flexible, humane and practical policies towards refugees and asylum seekers both within Australia and internationally through conducting research, advocacy, policy analysis and community education.

Our website contains a wealth of information and resources to help you find out about the key issues affecting refugee and asylum seekers both in Australia and internationally, the work of RCOA and the practical ways you can support refugees and asylum seekers.

Below is a guide to navigating the website and finding information and resources you need.

About Us

Learn more about the aims, work and history of RCOA; the different branches of our work including the A Just Australia campaign and the Australian Refugee Foundation; our Board, staff and members; our sources of income; the principles which inform our work; and our Annual General Meeting. You can also download copies of our previous annual reports and audited financial statements.


Under the "Resources" menu, you can access a range of resources on refugee and asylum seeker issues, including:

Fact Sheets

RCOA’s fact sheets provide information on a wide variety of issues relating to refugees and asylum seekers, ranging from international refugee law to Australia’s asylum policies to challenges faced by newly-arrived refugees when settling in Australia. You can also find responses to common myths and hoax e-mails about refugees and asylum seekers.

Our fact sheets provide a useful overview of key issues and are a good starting point for research. Many of the fact sheets also include links to further information and resources.


Providing answers to the most common questions and requests received by RCOA, our FAQs page is a good starting point if you are searching for information about our work or issues relating to refugees and asylum seekers.

News & Events

Download our media releases and read the latest news on issues relating to refugees and asylum seekers. Under this menu, you will also find our nationwide calendar of upcoming events, a monthly digest of refugee and asylum seeker issues in the media, copies of our monthly bulletins and information on how to join our mailing list.

Get Involved

Find out how to support the work of RCOA through making a donation, becoming an individual or organisational member and joining our mailing list. You will also find details about employment and volunteering vacancies at RCOA and other organisations and information about opportunities in a variety of areas, including research, academia, education, the arts, sport, competitions and award nominations.