Media Release by The Hon Christian Porter MP

First of the Syrian refugees arrive in Australia

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon. Christian Porter MP
    Minister for Social Services

  • Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
    Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs

The first family of Syrian refugees granted visas as part of Australia’s recent additional intake will soon arrive in Australia.

“The Government welcomes this first family to arrive with all the generosity that has been shown by the Australian people,” the Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter said.

“The family has had a number of difficult years since fleeing harrowing circumstances in Syria, and Australia can be proud that its people will be providing a new home for this family.”

The family of five, including three children, will arrive in Perth and will be met by staff from Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre (MMRC) WA.

As part of the Commonwealth Government’s Humanitarian Settlement Service (HSS) programme, MMRC will provide the family with early and practical support.

“The Government’s first priority is ensuring this family, and the families to follow, are supported and given the time and assistance they need to adjust to a new life in Australia,” Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said.

“I want to emphasise the importance of giving the family time and space to adjust to their new circumstances, particularly given that they have endured a harrowing, traumatic and long journey,” Mr Porter said. “The Government thanks the family for its patience while the usual checks and processes of resettlement were applied.”

In line with usual settlement services, a case manager from MMRC will be allocated to the family to help them to settle.

“I know that Perth and the wider Australian community will continue to show their generosity of spirit and help our newest arrivals feel at home and integrate into our Australian way of life,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“Resettlement is a long journey for people. There will be ongoing support as these humanitarian entrants arrive.”

Australia is taking additional 12,000 refugees who are fleeing the conflict in Syria and Iraq. While this represents a significant increase in the intake of refugees in Australia, it will be able to be managed through the Commonwealth Government’s existing Humanitarian Programme.

“The Government’s ability to respond to fluctuations or changes to the makeup of Australia’s Humanitarian Programme is due to the strong and developed settlement services framework,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

Discussions are continuing to take place between the Commonwealth Government, states and territories and local governments regarding options for settlement locations, including non-metropolitan areas.

“We will continue to work with communities to find meaningful ways to support the new arrivals,” Minister Porter said.

“Community support is essential to helping people to adjust to their new life. If you would like to offer support to refugees, information is available on the Department of Social Services’ website.”

For more background information on the Government’s response to the Syrian and Iraqi humanitarian crisis visit the media hub.