Each year, the Refugee Council invites people from across Australia to participate in its national consultations on the future of Australia's refugee and humanitarian program. These consultations inform RCOA's annual submission to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship on issues the Australian Government should consider in planning the coming year's refugee program. This latest submission draws together the views of more than 500 people, representing more than 200 organisations, who took part in 35 consultations across Australia during October and November 2008.
The submission explores a number of themes, including:
• Australia's resettlement program in the context of global refugee needs and past national intakes;
• Considerations for future planning of the Refugee and Humanitarian Program;
• Family reunion and the Special Humanitarian Program;
• Funding and planning of settlement services;
• Education and English language training;
• Employment and income support;
• Cultural orientation
• Rural and regional settlement;
•Asylum policy issues.
The submission also includes a summary of conditions in some of the major source countries for refugees, as well as resettlement needs for people from those countries.