Settlement Services International (SSI), has congratulated Anthony Albanese on the Labor Party’s election victory on Saturday and his appointment as Prime Minister.
SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said SSI looked forward to working with Mr Albanese and his ministry, especially when implementing election commitments such as ending temporary protection visas and implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Congratulating Mr Albanese, she noted he was the first prime minister of non-Anglo-Celtic heritage and said the election result was significant for Australia as a multicultural nation.
“SSI is proud to see a very diverse parliament with a record number of first nations and non-European MPs and senators, making it a better reflection of modern Australian society,” she said.
According to its national platform, the ALP will:
- increase the annual refugee intake to 27,000
- set up a community sponsorship program that works with an additional 5,000 places
- convert temporary protection visa holders to permanent protection visas
Ms Roumeliotis said SSI would welcome such steps, along with others that would build a fairer and more compassionate society.
She said with the Ukraine war, the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and other conflicts pushing the number of people forced to flee conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution to over 100 million, resettlement as a solution for refugees was more needed than ever before.
Regarding temporary protection, she said for Australia to remain a preferred destination for temporary migrants, especially in light of the post-COVID recovery, there needed to be clear and transparent pathways to permanent residency and a reduction in prolonged uncertainty for millions of temporary residents.
“I am very hopeful that under the new government many more people will be able to take the next step towards full social, economic, cultural and civic participation in our society,” she said.
Ms Roumeliotis also praised the ALP’s commitment to fund a national anti-racism plan. “This will be very important at a time when Australia sorely needs a bipartisan commitment to a federal anti-racism framework to safeguard our future as a multicultural nation where everyone is included equally,” she said.
Noting Mr Albanese’s election night references to concern for the disadvantaged and vulnerable and that no-one was left behind or held back, Ms Roumeliotis said, with Australia’s increasing diversity, she was looking forward to working with the new government to guarantee equity in terms of access and ensure individuals could actively participate in, and contribute to, their communities and fully engage in a fair and inclusive society.