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On this page you can find our submissions to inquiries and consultations.

Latest submissions

28Sep 17

Submission on visa simplification framework

Submission on visa simplification framework On 31 July 2017, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection opened public consultations on reforming the Australian visa system. The deadline for making a…

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25Aug 17

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017

In this submission, we express our concerns the proposed amendments in the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017 will further disadvantage newly arrived communities in finding employment. Refugees often face difficulties in gaining employment due to structural barriers, including those created by federally funded employment programs, such as the Jobactive Program. This submission will provide an overview of the failure of the proposed amendments to social services legislation, including the Jobactive program, to meet the needs of refugee communities.
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25Aug 17

Inquiry into school to work transition

This inquiry examined how better to support people to transition from school to work. RCOA's submission endorsed the submission of the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network, which identified barriers faced by young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds in this transition.
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18Aug 17

Submission to the inquiry into a Modern Slavery Act

This inquiry was established to consider whether there should be a Modern Slavery Act in Australia. Our submission highlights the need to address forced migration issues throughout Asia, recognising the link between refugees and victims of trafficking. It explores options for Australia to take a more protection focused role in the region, especially through leadership in the Bali Process. Finally, it endorses a Modern Slavery Act in Australia and highlights areas of particular concern for people seeking asylum and refugees in Australia in relation to issues of trafficking.
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01Aug 17

Submission on the Australian Citizenship Legislation (Strengthening Requirements) Amendment Bill 2017

The Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 would introduce new requirements before people can obtain Australian citizenship, including a new English language test and changes to the period of residence. It also re-introduces previous measures that would increase the discretionary powers of the Minister for Immigration. This submission sets out the Refugee Council of Australia's key concerns about this Bill.
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08Jun 17

Response to the proposed citizenship changes

In this submission to the Department of Immigration, RCOA expresses its deep concern at the changes to the test and requirements for Australian citizenship proposed in the Discussion Paper published on 20 April. The inclusive nature of Australian citizenship is a crucial element in the success of our multicultural society. Gaining citizenship should be an enabling, positive and welcoming process for applicants and one which is seen to contribute to building a cohesive and dynamic nation.
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25May 17

Submission on strengthening multiculturalism

On 27 March 2017, the Senate established the Select Committee on Strengthening Multiculturalism. The committee was asked to inquire into and report on ways of protecting and strengthening Australia’s multiculturalism and social inclusion. The Refugee Council of Australia's submission highlighted the increasingly divisive public and political discourse and the effects of racism and exclusion on refugee communities.
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23May 17

Intake submission on Australia’s 2017-2018 refugee and humanitarian program

For more than 25 years, the Refugee Council of Australia has been gathering community views on the Refugee and Humanitarian Program. Every year, we conduct a series of consultations across the country to provide feedback to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection on the operation of this Program. In April 2017, the Department published a Discussion Paper inviting submissions on the Program. The Refugee Council of Australia provided its submission on 19 May 2017. Submissions are now closed.
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23May 17

Submission on the status of the human right to freedom of religion or belief

The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade is inquiring on the status of the human right to freedom of religion or belief. Our submission focused on the status of that right in relation to refugee communities and people seeking asylum, both overseas and in Australia. We highlighted the importance of that right for refugee communities, and examined in particular two cases of the persecution of religious minorities: the Muslim Rohingya in our region and religious minorities in Pakistan based on the country’s blasphemy law. Our submission also discussed the experience of freedom of religion or belief for refugee communities within Australia, including in detention facilities and in relation to wider public and policy debates.
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07Mar 17

Submission into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017

On 9 February 2017, the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee began an inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017. This Bill includes measures previously introduced in other Bills, including the Family Payments Structural Reform and Participation Measures Bill 2015, and the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Family Measures) Bill 2015.
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17Feb 17

Submission into the inquiry into migrant settlement outcomes

This submission into the inquiry on migrant settlement outcomes addresses proposals to exclude young people on the basis of character, the current settlement services framework, and provides suggestions on how to improve settlement experiences for people from refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds.
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