25 September 2023

Warm welcome plan for new Canberrans

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A new service to support migrants, refugees and asylum seekers choosing to move to Canberra has been announced by the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Chris Steel.

To be called the Integrated Welcome to Canberra Support Service, the Minister said the new service reflected the commitment to increasing social participation, cohesion and community connection in the ACT and satisfied an action within the ACT Multicultural Framework Second Action Plan 2019-2020.

“New Canberrans need an integrated support service to help them establish a new life in the ACT,” Mr Steel said.

“This new service will assist people with their individual settlement needs and improve their awareness and access to existing multicultural services and programs available in Canberra.”

He said the service would focus on newly arrived migrants from any migrant visa category, filling the gaps experienced by people on bridging visas, temporary protection visas, and safe haven enterprise visas.

He said the key services to be provided under the initiative included development of a Welcome to Canberra information pack in hard-copy and digital formats with links to a range of other support services; a personalised case support to assist new Canberrans access services; and a biannual Welcome to Canberra forum tailored to connect migrants, refugees and asylum seekers with the broader community and services.

“Canberra joined the global Welcoming Cities network on Harmony Day earlier this year, membership reflecting our commitment to including all Canberrans in our social, cultural, economic and civic life,” Mr Steel said.

“We expect the new service to begin in August and will use a select tender process to find the provider that will most reflect our standing as a Welcoming City,” the Minister said.

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