Welcome to the next in our series of profiles on the winners and highly commended of the Anglicare Australia 2014 National Awards for Innovation and Excellence.These profiles will also be featured in The Anglicare Australia Review, which will be released early next month.
PARTNERSHIP is for a program or project that builds and strengthens links.
REFUGEE HOUSING IS MORE THAN JUST HOUSING
The partnership between AnglicareSA and the Migrant Resource Centre of South Australia supporting new arrivals goes beyond just providing a house; it works to make it a home.
A significant number of new arrivals to Australia come from traumatic circumstances in their previous countries of origin, or from detention centres, so there is a strong need for sensitivity and understanding.
Through its Refugee and Settlement Services Program, AnglicareSA’s approach, with more than 20 formal and informal partnerships within the organisation and externally, goes beyond providing a standard household goods package and accommodation agreement.
It is about assisting new arrivals to settle into the local community and equip them with the skills, knowledge and community support they need to build a new life in their new country.
The Refugee Housing team pays a great deal of attention to the details that make the difference between providing a house and making it a home; between accommodation and hospitality.
The informal partnerships are with church parishes, volunteer groups, refugee advocate organisations, community leaders from different cultural backgrounds, refugee associations, government agencies, private rental agencies and retail suppliers.
Every one of these partnerships helps AnglicareSA deliver a flexible, responsive range of caring and welcoming services to support new arrivals. The rapid mobilisation of these partnerships is crucial to delivering the best outcomes for new arrivals, with AnglicareSA sometimes receiving less than seven days notification of a large number of clients to be accommodated.
When the call comes to house a family, immediate considerations include accommodation that suits family composition and is close to other family or friends; that properties are equipped with furniture and household goods, culturally appropriate food, personal products, children and baby equipment, activated mobile phones with credit, landline phones at home, and any ‘extras’ that will help clients connect with support services and their community.
In the last year, AnglicareSA has helped ‘settle’ 912 individual refugees, determined they have the best possible chance of rebuilding a sustainable future for themselves and their families, and enveloped them in respect and compassion.
The Anglicare Australia National Award judges commented that at a time where there is so much demonisation of refugees, this program is changing hearts and minds, and there is a big effort into going the extra mile.
AnglicareSA's refugee housing team at a training session.