Many Australians are welcoming people from refugee backgrounds into their communities every day. There are many ways that we can get involved in our communities and support a more tolerant approach to refugee settlement in Australia.
- become involved in a refugee support group where you can meet others and talk about issues facing refugee people in the community
- attend local and national events in support of refugee people and issues
- volunteer with organisations such as Settlement Services International, Refugee Council of Australia (and their members)
- Speak out:
- write to your local Member of Parliament about issues of concern
- write opinion letters to local papers about the issues
- share knowledge of refugee issues with friends and family.
- advocate for refugee rights by following and supporting organisations such as the Refugee Council of Australia, Asylum Seekers Centre, St Vincent De Paul, Amnesty International Australia or Medecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders)
Armidale EAL/D Homework Centre
Community volunteers in Armidale donate their time to help school aged students who are learning English, many of them from refugee backgrounds, at the after school homework centre, run by Northern Settlement Services. The volunteers help students to practice their spoken English, improve their reading skills and assist with homework.
Gymea Drive Time Program
The DriveTime program, funded by the NRMA and delivered by the Gymea Community Aid and Information Service, helps people on humanitarian visas gain confidence behind the wheel. The program recruits volunteer mentors who provide driving support and driving practice for learner drivers to help them obtain their NSW driving licences.
For more examples, see Bright Ideas (Refugee Council of Australia). This resource highlights many innovative community initiatives that support refugees and asylum-seekers.