Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Assisting African refugees and migrants in Melbourne

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Gavin Marshall, Labor Senator for Victoria

Today the Gillard Government is meeting an election commitment by providing $143,000 over two years for a project to assist African refugees and migrants settle in to life in Australia, the Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services, Julie Collins and Senator Gavin Marshall, Labor Senator for Victoria announced today.

Ms Collins said funding for the Horn Afrik Project, provided under the Federal Government’s Community Investment Program, is run by the Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre to help African men participate in their community.

“The Horn Afrik Project, which has been running since July 2007, provides employment assistance and support to men from the Horn of Africa, who are living, studying or working in Carlton and surrounding suburbs,” Ms Collins said.

“Many of the participants have qualifications from their homeland, which are not recognised in Australia. This project links participants to employment services and training, building their capacity to engage with the broader community.

“Unemployment can undermine one’s confidence. With the assistance of community project workers, men can access social support networks and a range of vocational training and employment opportunities that enhance skills and financial independence,” Ms Collins said.

Mr Marshall today visited the Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre to see first-hand the service this funding will support.

“The Horn Afrik Project was locally driven by the African community in Melbourne and this support will help ensure it meets their needs,” Senator Marshall said.

“This funding will allow the Horn Afrik Project to continue assisting men from the Horn of Africa to participate fully in the community, remain effective role models for their children, become leaders in their community and encourage community development.”

The Horn Afrik Project has helped many African men to access assistance which has enabled them to overcome the challenges that face refugees and migrants and contribute towards a harmonious multicultural Australia.