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Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Parenting guides to help newly arrived families

The latest series of ‘Parenting in a New Culture’ African parenting guides will to help migrants and refugees become familiar with parenting in Australia.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, Bill Shorten, tonight launched the new series in Melbourne which will help families from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Funding of $300,000 under the Rudd Government’s Local Answers Program will see this useful resource assist many families.

Mr Shorten said that for many migrant parents adjusting to the cultural and language differences in Australia was hard and that the guides would help ease some of those difficulties.’

‘Parenting in a new country can be confusing and isolating, particularly for parents who had a strong support network in their countries of birth,’ Mr Shorten said.

‘The general services provided by Governments do not always meet the needs of every family. Finding where to go for help, and finding organisations which understand and respect your culture is therefore incredibly important.’

Coordinated by Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre, the guides fill this gap and make a significant contribution to supporting the newly arrived migrants and refugees understand parenting in contemporary Australian culture.

Spectrum has a 25-year history of providing culturally responsive services to refugees and migrants across northern Melbourne and more recently, across Victoria.

‘Australia has a fine record in integrating arrivals from all over the world, and allowing migrants a new home and a chance to make a contribution to the Australian story,’ Mr Shorten said.

‘Spectrum has worked hard to engage, people from these communities to develop the guides.’

These new guides have been developed with input of over 400 people from Melbourne’s Congolese, Burundian, Sierra Leonean and Liberian communities.