The City of Brimbank is located in the western and north-western suburbs of Melbourne, between 11 and 23 kilometres west and north-west of the Melbourne GPO. Brimbank is home to about 194,319 residents, more than 50% of which were born overseas, and 62.5% of whom speak a language other than English at home.
Brimbank City Council is committed to developing and fostering a diverse community; a community that is active and connected in sustainable, well designed, safe and accessible local areas with high participation in community life. As a Refugee Welcome Zone, Council declares its commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into its community, to uphold the human rights of refugees and to enhance cultural and religious diversity.
What is the role of Local Government in supporting newly arrived and settling communities?
- Coordination – bringing together key service providers to identify issues and opportunities for partnerships.
- Collaboration – engaging with key stakeholders in the Brimbank community and all other levels of government.
- Advocacy – promoting and protecting the human rights of settling communities.
Development of the Brimbank Settlement Action Plan
In developing the Brimbank Settlement Action Plan (BSAP) Council conducted a consultation process that involved the input and feedback from key stakeholders. The process included a Settlement Communities Forum which was held on the 30 November 2011. The purpose of the Forum was to identify common systemic issues and provide an opportunity for organisations and services to network with other relevant services. Approximately 60 representatives from different service providers, who work with humanitarian and refugee clients in the Brimbank municipality, attended the Forum. Representatives from the Department of Immigration and Municipal Association of Victoria also attended. Workshops at the Forum focused on four priority areas for settling communities:
- English language, vocation and training
- Health, family and wellbeing
- Legal and governance
From the Settlement Forum, a working draft BSAP was developed and presented to the following groups:
- Brimbank Melton Settlement Advisory Group meeting (June 2012); and
- Brimbank Early Years Reference Group (BEYRG) meeting (May 2012).
Focus groups were then reconvened in September 2012, based on the themes raised at the Settlement Forum, to further confirm priorities and strategies. The draft BSAP was discussed at the Brimbank Community Wellbeing Advisory Committee in November 2012 and June 2013.
Purpose of the Brimbank Settlement Action Plan The Brimbank Settlement Action Plan aims to:
- Identify strategic opportunities to work with local agencies, peak representative bodies, and the State and Federal Government agencies to achieve joint goals.
- Develop strategies to respond to the identified needs of new and emerging communities settling in Brimbank.
- Support the work of Brimbank’s settlement agencies.