Refugee Council of Australia
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Home > Media > RCOA to co-host global meeting on refugee settlement 

RCOA to co-host global meeting on refugee settlement 

Over 120 representatives from governments, NGOs, the UN and refugee-led organisations will be in Sydney this month for the global Working Group on Resettlement. 

The four-day event starts with 12 site visits over two days where our international visitors will learn about Australian approaches from 18 local organisations. 

Director of Australian Afghan Hassanian Youth Assosication (AAHYA) Mr Karimi says this is an opportunity for them to showcase to the world what they could not achieve in their homeland they have achieved here, after fleeing persecution from Afghanistan more than a decade ago. 

 “Our swim school alone has grown into a full-blown program with 14 swimming instructors servicing up to 80 people from refugee background, from youth to the elderly”. 

The award-winning nationally recognised program based in western Sydney is one of several programs run by the AAHYA which services people from refugee background. 

“We also have English classes, a driving school, graduating more than 250 women from refugee background, karate classes as well as assist with day-to-day dilemmas of refugees who come here and start from nothing”, Mr Karimi said. 

Other refugee-led organisations taking part in the consultation includes the Refugee Communities Action Network, Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development, Assyrian Australian Association and the Afghan Peace Foundation.  

Topics that will be discussed include finding accommodation in the context of housing crises, changing the conversation on refugees and resettlement to build inclusive and welcoming communities, and the skilled refugee program. 

Director of Operations for Talent Beyond Boundaries Louna Ghawi, an organisation connecting skilled refugees with employers in Australia through the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement Pilot Program says the initiative has illustrated how refugees enrich both our workforce and communities. 

“We are excited to share the valuable insights from our partnership with the Department of Home Affairs on this pilot and see more countries recognize refugee labor mobility as not just a viable option, but an opportunity to benefit from the immense talents of refugees,” Ms Gawi said. 

Australia’s humanitarian resettlement program is one of the leading in the world in terms of its size and longevity.   

Refugees find a permanent home in Australia through both resettlement and complementary migration pathways. Refugees arrive on humanitarian (i.e., Refugee, Humanitarian and Community Sponsorship visas), skilled (Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement Pilot) and family visas. 

RCOA has also been actively engaged with universities across Australia to help support the push for education pathways. 

“When we see what is occurring in countries around the world – from Canada where an education pathway has operated successfully for 40 years to the Philippines where De La Salle Araneta University has recently welcomed its first four Rohingya students from Malaysia – we know that there is great potential for an education pathway for refugees,” CEO of RCOA Paul Power said. 

Delegates from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, NZ, Norway, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, UK and US will be joined by Australian experts to share information, inspiration and ideas about how to respond to common post-arrival settlement challenges.  

As NGO Co-Chair of the Consultations on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways (CRCP), RCOA has been working with the Department of Home Affairs, UNHCR, the CRCP Refugee Advisory Group and local NGO and government partners to plan an exciting agenda.

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