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A Just Australia
Australian Refugee Foundation
Refugee Week

Latest News

Australia's focus on deterrence challenged in global forum

RCOA has challenged the Australian Government's promotion of its "regional deterrence network" as governments, NGOs and international bodies gather in Geneva for a global dialogue on protection at sea. Read more here.

Asylum laws will fast-track vulnerable people to danger

The passage of the Australian Government's asylum legislation is a shattering blow for asylum seekers who face the grave risk of being returned to danger. Read more here.

PM urged to remove all children from immigration detention

RCOA has written to the Prime Minister urging him to remove children from immigration detention facilities in Australia and Nauru. Read more here.

Housing issues for refugees and asylum seekers

RCOA has released a new report on challenges and alternatives in sustainable housing for refugees and asylum seekers. Read it here.

UN Committee takes aim at Asylum Legacy Caseload Bill

Cross-bench Senators have been urged to take note of a report from one of the UN's foremost authorities on the prevention of torture. Read more here.

End to resettlement from Indonesia adds insult to injury

Australia's refusal to resettle refugees who sought protection in Indonesia after June 2014 will cement Australia's reputation as a bad neighbour. Read more here.

Temporary Protection Visas will separate families indefinitely

RCOA has highlighted the devastating impact of the Australian Government's proposed Temporary Protection Visas in forcing the indefinite separation of families. Read more here.

Australia must stop returns following torture of asylum seeker

RCOA president Phil Glendenning has again pleaded with the Department of Immigration to halt forcible returns of asylum seekers to Afghanistan. Read more here.

Governments challenged to end neglect of African crises

Delegates from 94 nations including Australia have been challenged to end the global neglect of Africa's 15 million displaced people. Read more here.

Australia urged to take more constructive response to global refugee crises

The crises in Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic and South Sudan and efforts to eliminate statelessness will dominate discussions at a key UNHCR meeting. Read more here.

Punishment not protection for refugees sent to Cambodia

The agreement to be signed this week between Australia and Cambodia to resettle refugees from Nauru will leave refugees at further risk. Read more here.

Australia ignores UN call for action on statelessness

As the world commemorates the 60th anniversary of the 1954 Statelessness Convention, stateless people in Australia have little to celebrate. Read more here.

Refugee Welcome Zone initiative reaches its century

RCOA's Refugee Welcome Zone initiative has reached a milestone with more than 100 councils signing on. Read more here.

National Party's call for more refugee places a positive step

RCOA has backed calls by the Government's Coalition partner the National Party for an expanded Refugee and Humanitarian Program. Read more here.

Australia must step up to support Syrian refugees

News that the number of Syrian refugees has passed three million confirms that Australia's decision to cut its refugee program could not have come at a worse time, says RCOA. Read more here.

No excuse for ongoing detention of children

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has failed to offer an adequate justification for the ongoing detention of children on Christmas Island and Nauru, says RCOA. Read more here.

Efforts to return Syrian refugees unconscionable

RCOA is alarmed by media reports that Syrian asylum seekers detained on Manus Island are being pressured by Australian Government officials to return home. Read more here.

Government removes Refugee Council's core funding

The Australian Government has completely cut core funding to RCOA despite allocating $140,000 just two weeks ago in its 2014-15 Budget. Read more here.

Federal Budget summary 2014-15

RCOA has released a summary of refugee-related spending in the 2014-15 Federal Budget. Read more here.


Refugee Week

Refugee Week is Australia's peak annual activity to inform the public about refugees and celebrate positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.


Add your voice to ours

For 33 years, the Refugee Council of Australia has worked hard to be a strong and credible community voice for the humane treatment for people seeking asylum. The situation for people seeking refuge protection has never been as dire as it is now and never has there been a greater need for the Refugee Council’s work.

We know many Australians share our deep concern that highly vulnerable people are increasingly under political attack and we urgently need your help to ensure that this deep community concern is heard by Australia’s decision makers.With your support, we can continue to work with refugee communities and the services which support them, putting forward constructive alternatives to policies which cause harm.

It is only with your help that we can continue to develop these practical responses to the settlement challenges faced by new arrivals. With your support we can continue and expand our work in creating opportunities for people who have been refugees themselves to be centrally involved in our national and international advocacy and our public education on refugee issues.

Please consider whether you can become a monthly supporter of the Refugee Council, or make a one-off donation here. In doing so, you are raising the voice of compassion and justice in the face of such brutality. Every cent of your tax-deductible donation will help us continue to raise a voice for refugees.

You can also support our tireless and credible advocacy for people seeking protection from persecution by becoming a member. Download our membership brochure here.


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 200 organisational and 900 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.