Compelling news from the refugee and migrant sector
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News from AMES Australia

31 July 20172 comments

Read about the latest news, research and initiatives from migrant and refugee settlement agency AMES Australia…


AMES successful in HSP tender

AMES Australia has been appointed the Humanitarian Settlement Program provider in Victoria as well as in South Australia and Tasmania.

AMES Australia won this business after taking part in a competitive tender process conducted by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services.

CEO Cath Scarth said the announcement of the contracts was “exciting news”.

“It is very pleasing – and an acknowledgment of the commitment and professionalism of our staff as well as the quality of our programs and practices – that we have also won the HSP contract for South Australia, and in partnership with a local organisation, for Tasmania,” Ms Scarth said.

“Our priority and focus, as always, will be to support our clients to achieve economic and social participation and to use our strengths-based practices to help them build their new lives in Australia,” she said.

“I want to thank everyone involved in the HSP tender process as well as all of you who work day to day with our clients while maintaining high standards of service, commitment and professionalism,” Ms Scarth said.


Community Proposal Pilot replaced with Community Support Program

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has announced that the new Community Support Program (CSP) had replaced the Community Proposal Pilot (CPP).

AMES Australia had been an Approved Proposing Organisation (APO) in the CPP, a private sponsorship pilot for refugees to come to Australia on the XB202 humanitarian visas.

As an APO in the CPP, AMES selected candidates for the CPP from Expressions of Interest, processed the visa applications of successful candidates, and monitored their settlement once they arrived.

The CSP has been announced although it is still being set up, and is currently only open for applications for APOs. AMES is currently in the process of applying to be an APO in the CSP.

DIBP has indicated that APO selection should be completed in October, and following this process applicants can apply to respective APOs for selection into the program.

The CSP has increased to 1000 places for visa applicants (up from 500 in the CPP). The new program has some significant differences to the CPP, namely an ‘Assurance of Support’ will be required, and that the program will target visa applicants who are ‘job ready’.


Global café at Noble Park dishing up tasty, affordable meals

There’s a buzz of activity and mouth-watering smells coming from AMES Australia’s Noble Park site since the Global Cafe reopened to provide low cost lunches to local refugees and asylum seekers.

Hilda Samuel from the Jesuran Welfare Services, a local community organisation who works in partnership with AMES Australia, says she was inspired to transform the space to provide tasty and affordable meals to those most in need.

Her kitchen is run entirely by volunteers except for her head chef, Rajani, a former asylum seeker from Sri Lanka who has worked with Hilda for several years.

Hilda says visitors are hard pressed to get a seat come lunch time at the café.

“We have a changing daily menu and meals are only six dollars, or three dollars if you’re an AMES Australia student,” Hilda says.

The Global café is open Monday – Friday at AMES Australia’s Noble Park site.


Sorghum Sisters – building futures for CALD women

Since opening its doors in Kensington last September, the Sorghum Sisters Catering and Training Social Enterprise has been piloting a ‘Women and Work’ program providing contextualised training for women from refugee backgrounds.

The program develops the women’s employability skills, exposes them to a real employment environment and explores the opportunities for work or starting a small business.

During July the program began expanding to include 60 women from Somalia, Yemeni, Burma and Eritrea over 20 weeks to build a pathway to economic independence.

This will be achieved by the development of work place skills, harnessing their entrepreneurial abilities and by growing their links to the local community.

So next time you place your order for Sorghum Sister’s know that every dollar spent buys a lot more then scrumptious African delights but also is supporting women from refugees background become economically active.