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Media Release, From Western Sydney MRC – 28th February 2023

Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre (WSMRC) welcomes the NSW Settlement Strategy as an important initiative to improve settlement outcomes for people from refugee and refugee-like backgrounds living in NSW. It will serve as a bridge between federal and state initiatives, drawing on the wealth of experience and knowledge developed by the existing settlement sector. We hope it will provide a framework to improve and evolve settlement outcomes by embedding initiatives, focus, and constructive collaboration.

The NSW Settlement Strategy provides a clear framework by Multicultural NSW for the NSW Government to continue delivering services and programs that are working well, collaboratively address areas for attention, and evaluate and apply learnings to improve settlement outcomes in NSW. As an organisation working with refugees and new migrants for over three decades, WSMRC understands the importance of a coordinated and collaborative approach to settlement. We are pleased to see the NSW Government’s commitment to enhancing and formalising collaboration, coordination, strategic planning, and service delivery across the NSW Government to ensure successful settlement outcomes.

Dr. Shergold’s investment in the lives of people from refugee backgrounds is evident in his support for initiatives aimed at improving settlement outcomes and enhancing social cohesion. He recognises the immense potential and resilience of these communities and believes that with the right support and opportunities, they can thrive and make significant contributions to Australian society.

The NSW Settlement Strategy is a live document that evolves based on the evidence base of evolution. WSMRC is optimistic that the NSW Settlement Strategy will adapt to meet the changing and evolving needs of the individuals and communities they support. We commend the NSW Government for developing such an inclusive and innovative strategy to improve the lives of refugees in NSW.

The NSW Settlement Strategy recognises the significant value of the lived experience of refugees and refugee-like communities. We hope that amidst the inclusion of community voice and lived experience, this encompasses insights, experiences, and perspectives in decision-making processes to enhance the impact and innovation of settlement initiatives.

Of particular note is the Human Rights based approach as articulated in this Strategy,’ said Mohan Gunasekara, Director of Services at WSMRC. ‘Refugees have the same rights as other members of society to realise their potential and participate in decision-making“.

As an organisation that has been working with refugees and refugee-like communities for many years, we are pleased to see the launch of the NSW Settlement Strategy. We believe that this framework provides a strong foundation for improving settlement outcomes and supporting the empowerment of individuals and communities across NSW. At the Western Sydney MRC, we remain committed to working collaboratively with government and non-government stakeholders to ensure that refugees and refugee-like communities receive the support and opportunities they need to thrive and contribute to Australian society.” Said Western Sydney MRC Chair of the board Rola Hijwel.

WSMRC supports this objective and looks forward to seeing how the NSW Government will utilise the valuable expertise of these communities to drive positive change and improve settlement outcomes. This is crucial to ensuring that services and programs are designed and delivered in a way that meets the needs of refugees and new migrants and empowers them to realise their potential and thrive.

WSMRC looks forward to working with the NSW Government, other stakeholders, and communities to ensure that refugees in Western Sydney are supported and empowered to achieve successful settlement outcomes.

I would like to express our enthusiasm for continuing our relationship with the NSW Government. We believe that our investment can provide complementary and valuable support to help more people become a part of mainstream Australian life. We are excited to explore partnership opportunities in the priority areas listed in the document and look forward to working together towards shared goals.” said Kamalle Dabboussy CEO of Western Sydney MRC.

For more information on Western Sydney MRC visit wsmrc.org.au

Media enquiries can be directed to: Marketing and Communications Manager – Rachel Haywood

Contact 0456 222 080, Email: rachel@wsmrc.org.au

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