Media Release by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Funding to support migrants, refugees and women in northern Tasmania

Joint Media Release with:

  • Bridget Archer MP

The Morrison Government is providing an additional $150,000 to the Migrant Resource Centre North to better support and empower migrants and refugees to connect with their community and live fulfilling lives.

Minister for Families and Social Services and Women’s Safety Anne Ruston and Federal Member for Bass Bridget Archer visited the MRC in Launceston today to hear from participants who have benefited from the Thrive program.

Minister Ruston and Ms Archer will also officially launch the Rule of Thumb podcast, created by Women’s Legal Service Tasmania Domestic Violence Unit in collaboration with Healthy Tasmania, using a $25,000 grant under the Morrison Government’s $150 million domestic violence response package to boost frontline services during the pandemic.

“The MRC is doing great work in promoting the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse communities by introducing people to local activities such as school holiday programs, English and conversation classes, playgroups and women’s IT classes,” Minister Ruston said.

“I’m also pleased to support the Women’s Legal Service Tasmania launch their podcast which features conversations from women, lawyers and counsellors about their experiences that will help guide a woman should she ever have to navigate her way through the complexities of the family law system.

“It is impressive to see both organisations use innovative methods to reach their clients and help achieve better outcomes for those individuals and the community more broadly.”

Ms Archer said with almost one in five Bass residents having been born overseas, the MRC played a vital role within the community to ensure new residents feel welcomed and supported.

“Having worked closely with the Thrive team, I know how important this program is to ensuring migrants and refugees who settle in northern Tasmania feel welcomed and connected to our community,” Ms Archer said.

“The MRC’s work ensuring migrants who move to our region are able to make the most of what northern Tasmania offers and, equally, that our community is strengthened by their decision to make Bass home is to be commended.”

“Women’s Legal Service Tasmania continue to provide critical support to women escaping family and domestic violence. Rule of Thumb is delivering essential information on how women can prepare for separation and what the legal process may look for women looking to leave violent situations,” Ms Archer said.

CEO of the Women’s Legal Service Tasmania Yvette Cehtel welcomed the Government’s $129 million commitment to Women’s Legal Services in the Budget, which will help women across the country access justice.

“We know that family violence has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns. This podcast is a way of sharing knowledge and making sure it can get to the people who need it, where they need it and when they need it,” Ms Cehtel said.

Migrant Resource Centre Chief Executive Ella Dixon said the funding extension will allow MRC North to continue building these connections and foster independence, so that individuals and families over time, can feel confident to pursue them.

“MRC North envisages harnessing these connections further by bringing together those newly arrived and the longer-term residents to share experiences of resettlement and knowledge of successful integration to increase feelings of understanding, connection and belonging for all involved,” Ms Dixon said.

Since 2018, the Government has committed $600,000 in total to the MRC North to link people to local activities, encourage people to venture to new places, and facilitate introductions to a range of services and opportunities.

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