SSI News Blog

Violet Roumeliotis

Access to timely and innovative services during their first years in Australia is critical to migrant and refugee families, ensuring a smoother transition to a new life here, a concept that will be explored at the upcoming Cultural Shift symposium.

“It’s during the first few years of settlement that families face some of their greatest challenges, so it’s vital that NGOs and Governments alike provide innovative responses to these challenges,” said Settlement Services International (SSI) CEO, Violet Roumeliotis.

“Services that build capacity in the process of settlement and the associated adjustments to a new country’s social, cultural, legal and other systems allow migrants and refugees to achieve a ‘cultural shift’ in their settlement journey.” 

Ms Roumeliotis said SSI had brought together leaders and experts from the NGO and Government sectors to provide an insightful and engaging interactive program. The June 5 ‘Cultural Shift: symposium on supporting migrant and refugee families through settlement’ will be held in Parramatta. Registrations, which opened last week, will close on May 30.

New and different customs, laws, family dynamics, and for some, language, can contribute to difficulties experienced by families settling into new lives in Australia.

The symposium presentations and workshops will showcase the effective services and delivery models in place to support migrants and refugee families through settlement.

Designed as a day of learning, the symposium is aimed at professionals who work with migrants and refugees with a view to shedding light on key challenges and increasing awareness of key responses to these challenges.

Cross cultural issues in the areas of health, education, law, early childhood initiatives, parenting, early intervention, and mental health will be addressed, and best practice strategies presented.


To register and for further information visit

Media enquiries:

SSI Marketing and Communications Manager, Angela Calabrese 0401 284 828


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SSI Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Vile

Courtesy The Australian: Ethiopian refugee Adi Tefera, left, with volunteer chef Kate Spina at Four Brave WomenSue Vile was among the first to be inducted into the SSI’s Armidale volunteer program, bringing with her a wealth of experience and existing training gathered from her time in aid work, in Australia and abroad.

A retired school teacher and nurse, Sue has dedicated an enormous amount of her time in recent years on the front line of humanitarian services, helping refugees at many stages of their journey to safety.


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