The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) made a submission to the Inquiry into Issues Facing Diaspora Communities which is undertaken by Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.
The submission specifically focused on concerns, experiences, and recommendations for refugee diaspora communities in Australia. Issues facing diaspora communities in Australia have long been overlooked or more narrowly perceived in economic terms. For a country that rightly celebrates the diversity of its multicultural population, this inquiry is important recognition of the breadth and depth of connections between diaspora communities in Australia and other parts of the world, as well as the range of issues that diaspora communities face.
In this submission, we particularly highlighted:
- The need to ensure diaspora associations are able to sustainably support the communities they serve and can effectively navigate Australian institution and systems;
- The concerns for members of diaspora communities that relate to foreign interference and mechanisms to address safety concerns are more fully developed;
- That members of refugee diaspora communities are able to fully participate in Australia’s social and democratic institutions through facilitating timely access to permanent visas and citizenship, and;
- That the Australian government strengthens its communication and partnership with refugee diaspora communities through the establishment of a Diaspora Liaison Unit and investment in targeted diaspora initiatives.