An innovative program to support the needs of humanitarian migrants was the focus of a meeting between State and Federal Ministers in Koondoola today.
Multicultural Interests and Citizenship Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich, Federal Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans and the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Laurie Ferguson, visited the Integrated Services Centre (ISC) at Koondoola Primary School.
The Koondoola project site is one of two ISCs - the other is at Parkwood Primary School - which support the needs of humanitarian entrants in Western Australia through delivery of a range of vital services to address the complex needs of new arrivals.
The ISCs were established in March 2007, as pilots with the aim of addressing issues relating to service delivery in the area of health, education, training and employment, family and community development . They were an outcome of the State Government’s across-government working party on settlement issues for African humanitarian entrants.
The services delivered by the ISCs complement the settlement services provided through the Federal Government’s Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy (IHSS), which assists humanitarian entrants during their crucial initial period of settlement in Australia.
Ms Ravlich said the ISC model provided a co-ordinated approach to delivery of settlement services between key State Government agencies through better use of existing infrastructure and utilising the skills of specialist non-Government agencies.
“The delivery of services to humanitarian entrants through WA’s ISC model is both innovative and successful,” she said.
“The ISCs have helped these vulnerable new arrivals to our community to adjust more quickly to life in Australia, by ensuring they receive the services and support they need to allow them to start their new lives.”
The Minister said she was pleased to hear of the positive impact the ISCs had had on the lives of the students and their families and the Carpenter Government was committed to providing extra support services to assist the most vulnerable in the community.
“The State Government is pleased at the steps taken by the new Federal Government to address issues relating to humanitarian entrants and looks forward to working together to provide better settlement services and improved outcomes for migrants in WA”, she said.
The Ministers met with the principal of Koondoola Primary School, Mr Rod Steere, along with ISC staff including a nurse, counsellor and community liaison worker.
The ISC project is a partnership between the Office of Multicultural Interests, the Department of Education and Training and the Department of Health.
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