Compelling news from the refugee and migrant sector
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

News from AMES Australia

31 October 20170 comments

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


AMES launches first South Australian site

AMES Australia has launched its new site in Salisbury, South Australia, with an afternoon tea attended by more than forty members of Adelaide’s multicultural sector.

South Australia’s Minister for Multicultural Affairs Zoe Bettison officially opened the site from which AMES Australia staff will deliver the new Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP) beginning on October 30.

Ms Bettison welcomed AMES to South Australia and said her department looked forward working with AMES to secure positive settlement outcomes for HSP clients.

AMES Australia CEO Cath Scarth told the gathering that AMES was excited to be making a contribution to South Australia’s rich tradition of cultural diversity and social cohesion.

“We will be working collaboratively with the state and local governments in South Australia as well as with community groups and other agencies in the important work of ensuring the best settlement outcomes for our refugee clients – which, in turn, will bring long term benefits to the state,” Cath said.

“We are just starting out on this work and we will be consulting widely and immersing ourselves in the vibrant and dynamic multicultural sector you have here in South Australia,” Cath said.

She said that Salisbury had a wonderful atmosphere of cultural diversity and harmony and a local council that understood and supported its diverse communities.

Cath welcomed AMES Australia’s new South Australian staff members.

“We have great team in South Australia and we wish them all the best,” she said



Japanese delegation visit AMES

AMES Australia this week hosted a group of Japanese academics and local government representatives visiting Australia to learn about the nation’s approach to multiculturalism.

The group of 14 toured AMES Australia’s Footscray site where they saw first-hand the delivery of settlement, education and employment services to people newly arrived to Australia and were briefed by staff working in these areas.

AMES CEO Cath Scarth gave the group an overview of AMES Australia’s operations and also the federal government’s policies and strategies around migrant and refugee settlement.

The group is on a fact finding mission to Australia as Japan wrestles with a debate over immigration policy brought on by poor economic growth caused by an ageing population.

The visit was requested by the Sydney office of the Japanese local government peak body and Director Mr Katsunori Kamibo thanked AMES for the insights gained.

“It has been a fascinating seminar and I want to thank Ms Scarth and AMES Australia for hosting us,” Mr Kamibo.

“We will take back to Japan many learnings and much food for thought,” he said.


AMES programs a hit at FECCA

AMES Australia was represented at the recent Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) conference held in Darwin.

More than 500 delegates from across Australia’s multicultural sector attended the conference which was underpinned by the theme ‘Celebrate. Reflect. Advance: Our Multicultural Australia’.

Among the keynote speakers were Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane, federal Multicultural Affairs Minister Zed Seselja, Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Australia Tony Burke and Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale.

AMES Australia Senior Manager, Volunteer and Community Development Maria Tsopanis made a well-received presentation on programs facilitating the economic participation of migrant women.

After her presentation Maria was quizzed by several community workers interested in hearing more about the programs.

AMES Australia Media Manager Laurie Nowell delivered a presentation on the Heartlands 2016 Arts Project – a collection of short films by young people from refugee backgrounds.

There were also poster presentations on AMES programs including the course for community leaders in the Prevention of Violence Against Woman (PVAW) in CALD communities and the AMES Australia Youth Sport program.

Maria said it was gratifying to see AMES Australia’s programs generate interest among other organisations.

“It was good to be able to share our experiences and also to hear about what other people in our sector are doing,” Maria said.


AMES Australia surveys to tap into migrant refugee perceptions

AMES Australia is launching a series of short surveys of clients and students newly arrived to Australia as part of an effort to understand more about their circumstances and improve our settlement services.

The voluntary SMS survey will be anonymous and confidential and will ask a range of questions about the lives, circumstances, perceptions, challenges and aspirations for their new lives in Australia.

The first survey will be rolled at the end of October and will be followed by several more over the coming year.

AMES Australia Research and Policy Administration Coordinator Ada Chan and Social Media and Content Coordinator Carissa Gilham are using the latest smart phone technology to conduct the surveys.

“We want to get a better understanding of settlement issues, successes and challenges and surveying a large number of clients through easy-to-use SMS technology is a good way to do this,” said Ada.

“We would love case managers, teachers and employment consultants to encourage their clients and students to participate,” she said.