Settlement Services International welcomes the unprecedented funding of $146 million over four years by the NSW State Government in this week’s State Budget to help Syrian and Iraqi refugees start a new life in NSW.
SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said it was pleasing to see such a significant financial commitment by the NSW Government for a highly vulnerable group of people.
“With so many newly arrived families with children, I’m particularly pleased to see that the main focus of the allocation will be on education and health,” Ms Roumeliotis said.
“The NSW Government should be congratulated for keeping to its word on Syrian arrivals and committing significant sums to ensure newly arrived refugees are supported at the state as well as the federal level.
“Of course, settlement service providers like Settlement Services International continue to deliver key specialised services, such as bilingual case management, cultural understanding and community orientation, to refugees on arrival in Australia.
“Settlement Services International and our member migrant resource centres know from decades of experience that refugees and migrants will settle and become independent more quickly if specialist settlement services are provided to help them get on their feet as soon as possible. Services such as specialist health care, case management, and access to education and pathways to work,” Ms Roumeliotis added.
“We have to also remember that for every dollar spent on refugees and migrants, these new arrivals and subsequent generations will repay us and the NSW and Australian economy many times over.”
Other critical areas that received funding include specialist torture and trauma services, employment and community integration programs.
A new refugee employment triage program will help refugees find work through tailored and individualised employment support.