Australia has in per capital terms taken in more refugees than most Western countries. The current annual humanitarian intake is 18,000 per year. In addition, Australia took in a one-off cohort of 12,000 refugees from the Syrian Conflict – from Syria and Iraq - most of whom arrived in 2017. That meant that in 2017 Australia had received more than double refugee intake of previous decades. Given that refugee intakes are the most controversial aspect of Australia’s immigration program it might have been expected that 2017 was a crisis year in Australian refugee settlement. And yet the reality appears to be much different. The settlement service organisations (including SSI, the major settlement service organisation for refugees arriving in Sydney and NSW) were very stretched in terms of staffing and resources yet coped with he extra caseload. Many of the refugees themselves have settled successfully in Australia (mainly in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne) with the major settlement problem related to employment. In this workshop, Violet Roumeliotis will discuss how the settlement services in Australia respond to new refugee arrivals and the innovative programs that SSI has introduced in recent years, including a program designed to assist newly-arrived refugees to set up a business. Jock Collins and Carol Reid will report on the findings of the first year of their research project – funded by the Australian Research Council - on Settlement Outcomes of Syrian Conflict Refugee Families in Australia and interviews with 250 refugee families.
Professor of Social Economics, Management, UTS Business School
Jock Collins is a Professor of Social Economics and member of the UTS Centre for Business and Social Innovation at the University Technology, Sydney. He is the author or co-author of tne books, and over 100 articles in international and national academic journals and book chapters. His work has been translated in French, German, Japanese, Arabic, Dutch, Chinese, Swedish, Turkish, Italian and Portuguese.
Professor of Education, Western Sydney University, Australia
CEO, Settlement Services International, Australia