Women looking at paperwork together

Refugee Support

The Humanitarian Settlement Program provides essential early support and information to refugees and humanitarian entrants. Learn more


IgniteAbility Small Business Start-ups is a pilot program established to facilitate business creation for people with disability. Learn More:

Man picking fruit

Local Area Coordination

SSI is partnered with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to support people aged 7 and over to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and other mainstream community services. Learn more

People sitting together smiling at the camera

SSI Employment

Employment is integral for newly arrived refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and for other vulnerable people in our community. Learn more

SSI News Blog


For SSI newsletter articles published after October 2014, please go to the SSI News Blog. As of November 2014, SSI's newsletter was changed from a PDF version to an enews mail out composed of blog articles.

These old newsletters below will be archived in the near future. 

To subscribe to the monthly SSI enews Newsletter, just enter your email address in the space at the top-left of this and other pages. Then click "Subscribe" and a confirmation email will be sent to you.   

pdfOctober_2014.pdf905.18 KB 

pdfSeptember_2014.pdf915.08 KB

pdfAugust_2014.pdf1004.63 KB

pdfJuly_2014.pdf1.2 MB

pdfJune 2014.pdf1.26 MB

pdfMay_2014.pdf841.06 KB

pdfApril_2014.pdf960.79 KB

pdfMarch 2014.pdf675.31 KB

pdfFebruary 2014883.91 KB

pdfDecember 2013766.88 KB

pdfNovember 2013881.55 KB

pdfOctober 2013822.52 KB

pdfSeptember 20131.06 MB

pdfJuly 20131.01 MB

pdfJune 2013801.14 KB

Meet May,

May is a single middle-aged woman living in Australia on a bridging visa. Due to the COVID-19 shutdowns May lost her employment as a cook and is now homeless.


At night, May sleeps on a massage table at a local massage clinic. She is entirely dependent on the support of charity. The most she has been able to receive is food, warm clothing, and a $50 everyday voucher.

While visiting the SSI office, May described her living conditions and how she has nowhere to wash herself.

When informed of Parramatta Mission’s the shower and laundry service, May’s eyebrows rose from her face mask. She bowed her head, placed her hands in prayer position at her heart and she said “thank you for letting me know, I really need this place. But is it free?”

May gave the impression that although she is currently being forced to live in survival mode, she is humbly waiting for any opportunity, no matter how small, that can alleviate the challenges of her situation.

*Image and name changed to protect the individual's identity.

Meet Sandra,

Sandra is a young woman in her mid-20’s. She aspires to become a qualified lawyer and travelled to Australia alone to do her master’s degree.

Sandra is no longer a student and is now living on a bridging visa while she awaits the outcome of her application for asylum in Australia.


Before COVID-19 emerged, Sandra’s passport expired, and she was unable to apply for a new one. Sandra explained that she was stuck.

Sandra was previously working in a restaurant but has lost work and is now unemployed and ineligible for federal government support.

Since the COVID-19 shutdowns her situation has gone from bad to worse. Sandra’s her rent was eight weeks in arrears when she was forced to move out. The instability of losing her home and resulting feelings of hopelessness have severely affected her mental health.

She visited SSI to receive advice on her situation and she was provided with a Care Package of food staples and general necessities. You can support individuals and families in need by contributing towards a Care Package here.

Sandra has a history of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. As a result, she was provided a referral to a psychiatrist, but cannot afford to attend the appointment.

In fear of homelessness Sandra has sought the support of a former male colleague who she is currently living with. Sandra is paying her share of rent and expenses but is completely dependent on him to support her.

*Image and name changed to protect the individual's identity.

Meet Samson,

Samson* is a middle-aged man on a Bridging visa who has received a double negative response to his applications for asylum in Australia. He has lived in Australia for nine years. During this time, Samson has been employed and supporting himself.


Samson lost his job due to the COVID-19 shutdowns. He has exhausted all his savings and had had to burn through the little superannuation he was able to accumulate while employed. He has now fallen behind by two months in his rental and was told to leave by the landlord.

Samson has been sleeping rough in his car for two weeks.

“Everywhere I go to ask for help, everyone keeps saying I am sorry, I there is nothing more we can do. I just need help with rent for a few weeks until I can go back to work.”

*Image and name changed to protect the individual's identity.

Meet Mayan,

When Mayan visited the SSI office she presented as a bright young woman in her 20s who spoke with great eloquence.


After arriving in Australia in late 2018, Mayan worked as a receptionist and then as a cleaner. She has been actively searching for work since December 2019.

Mayan visited the office to collect a care package of general supplies and food, plus a $50 everyday voucher. When asked about her current situation, Mayan’s eyes instantly welled with tears. The young woman lowered her head and said, “It has been so hard, so hard.”

“I have been really trying. I try to find work every day. I try and I try but it is so hard. I do not know what to do, what can I do? I am on the verge of homelessness; I am going crazy. I have been on a waiting list for a woman’s refuge for two months they finally told me that they cannot take me because I am not a resident and I don’t get Centrelink. My life has become so different, you know. One minute I have a normal life and now I am at the bottom of the rung. I am surrounded by people going crazy. I am surrounded by homeless people. It is so hard. I have been living in a shared room with five other women, it is too crowded, it is dirty.”

As Mayan spoke, she began to weep.

“I am sorry I did not come here to cry. I have been holding this in for months, it is so hard. I cannot talk to anybody - you are the first person I have spoken to about this. I just keep bottling everything up inside.

“I cannot talk to my family, why should they worry more. I see people in my community, I cannot talk to them. Our community is breaking apart. I see some people getting Jobseeker and JobKeeper who just sit around and do nothing all day. I keep trying but the Bridging Visa makes it harder to gain employment.

“Everyone says we are only employing people with Permanent Residency or Citizenship. They are worried I won’t stay long. I think ok I will go for a job in hospitality, but for that I need an RSA, I have to pay for it, I have no money to pay.

“I am trying so hard. I can’t even top up my Opal card. I came here for protection, but I have not found protection, I am going to be on the street.”

*Image and name changed to protect the individual's identity.


Quality services and support

SSI is a community organisation and social business that supports newcomers and other Australians to achieve their full potential. We work with all people who have experienced vulnerability, including refugees, people seeking asylum and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, to build capacity and enable them to overcome inequality.

SSI draws on its expertise and experience to advocate for the people and communities it serves. Through the work we do, we empower people to change their lives. Through our advocacy and representation, we influence ideas and policy.

Our vision is to achieve a society that values the diversity of its people and actively provides support to ensure meaningful social and economic participation and to assist individuals and families reach their potential.