On 14 December 2018, the Government commissioned an independent Review into Integration, Employment and Settlement Outcomes for Refugees and Humanitarian Entrants (the Review) to provide advice to the Government on how to better support refugees and humanitarian entrants to make a valuable contribution to our social fabric and economy.
The Review was led by Professor Peter Shergold AC. Kerrin Benson, Chief Executive of Multicultural Australia, and Margaret Piper, member of the NSW Joint Partnership Working Group on Refugee Resettlement, were members on the Review panel.
Refugees and humanitarian entrants have always played an important role in enriching the Australian community and building our strong economy. The review will provide advice to the government on how to better support refugees and humanitarian entrants to make valuable contributions to our social fabric and our economy. The review will recommend ways to improve integration, employment and settlement outcomes.
- Australia should continue to select refugees on the basis of humanitarian need.
- Australia will benefit from helping refugees to capitalise on the diversity of strengths, skills, experience and drive that they bring to their new home.
- Australia should seek to enhance, tailor and coordinate settlement programs in order to significantly improve refugee integration.
- Programs to assist refugees should be designed not just to help them overcome disadvantage, but also allow them to capitalise on the abilities that they possess.
- Australia should ensure refugees and their communities benefit from targeted case coordination, helping them to navigate the maze of support services available and find the best integration pathways.
- Australia should make upfront investments in the labour market integration of refugees to ensure that the greatest personal and community benefits are achieved in the shortest time.
- English language proficiency is crucial to economic and social participation and should be delivered in ways that respond more flexibly to the community and workforce needs of refugees.
- Opportunities for the regional settlement of refugees should be actively encouraged.Whilst the existing Humanitarian Program should continue to focus on the needs of the most vulnerable, new visa categories should be introduced to enable sponsorship by local communities, employers or universities.
- Australia should encourage the goodwill that exists in many areas of the Australian community towards helping refugees build new lives.