Media Release by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

$6.5 million committed to delivering Australian cultural information for humanitarian entrants

The Australian Government is committing $6.5 million to help humanitarian entrants settle in Australia.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells has announced that International Organization for Migration (IOM) was successful in a recent tender process by the Department of Social Services to deliver the Australian Cultural Orientation (AUSCO) Programme internationally.

IOM will deliver courses in Africa, Asia, South East Asia and the Middle East that provide vital information about life in Australia, covering topics such as cultural adjustment, Australian law, values and lifestyle, housing, health care, education, employment and language training.

The courses will provide practical advice about the journey to Australia, including quarantine laws and what to expect when humanitarian entrants arrive.

“We see the delivery of this pre-departure information as a crucial first stage of the settlement journey. This information is presented in their own language and equips humanitarian entrants with the tools to help integrate effectively in the social and economic life of Australia,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“IOM have successfully delivered AUSCO courses on a global scale for the Government since 2003 and I congratulate them on securing a further three year contract with the Department of Social Services,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“AUSCO courses will reinforce the importance of English language, education and employment as the building blocks for successful settlement in Australia.

“Adjusting to life in a new country is a journey that begins before a humanitarian entrant leaves for Australia.”

“The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that all newly arrived humanitarian entrants are afforded the opportunity to participate fully in our society and are equipped with the necessary tools to deal with the different stages of cultural, social and economic adaptation,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.