$1,451,718 to enhance local settlement services

Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird and Federal Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones today announced the Gillard Government will spend $1,451,718 to assist refugees and migrants become self-reliant and settle in the Illawarra.

Illawarra Multicultural Services will receive funding under the Gillard Government’s Settlement Grants Program (SGP), which aims to help refugees and migrants become independent, acquire crucial skills and knowledge about life in Australia and contribute to the national economy.

“I am delighted that Illawarra Multicultural Services will receive the financial support they need to continue to provide practical assistance on the ground to help our newest community members,” Ms Bird said.

“The Government recognises the important role community organisations play helping migrants and refugees settle as quickly as possible and build rewarding lives in Australia.”

These projects aim to increase clients’ independence, social participation and personal and economic wellbeing for eligible SGP clients in the Illawarra and Nowra/ Bomaderry regions.

“This project will provide new arrivals with the tools they need to become self-reliant and successfully settle in the community,” Stephen Jones said.

“The services will assist refugees and migrant families strengthen their connection to the wider Australian community and encourage participation, engagement and inclusion,” Mr Jones said.

Funding through the Settlement Grants Program is targeted to assist refugees, family sponsored migrants and the dependants of those on skilled migration visas with low levels of English.

A complete list of successful applicants in the 2012-13 funding round is available on the Department of Immigration website www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/delivering-assistance/settlement-grants