Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

$300,000 for migrant parenting project

The Howard Government will deliver $300,000 in funding to the Migrant Information Centre to help recently arrived migrants and refugees living in Melbourne’s east with their parenting needs and managing their family relationships.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today launched the Eastern Melbourne Parenting and Relationships Skills for Multicultural Families projectat the centre’s Mitcham office.

“This project will help families from diverse cultural backgrounds, particularly refugee families and Chinese-speaking families who have settled in eastern Melbourne in the past five years,” Senator Patterson said.

“It will assist with developing their parenting skills and build stronger family relationships through participation in parenting groups, relationship education and family counselling.

“Families who are new to Australian society face particular challenges as they try to span two cultures. Under the project, parenting groups will be established across five different community groups, including Sudanese, Burmese, Afghan, Iranian and Chinese families.

“Volunteers from these communities will be trained in group leadership, parent and relationship education, supporting families dealing with cultural change.

“A Family Worker has been employed to run the project and to link the families with existing local service providers who can further assist them with parenting skills and maintaining family relationships across their traditional culture while adjusting to Australia’s way of life.

“The three-year project is a Local Answers initiative under the Howard Government’s $490 million Stronger Families and Communities Strategy, which supports local initiatives to help families, children and communities.

“This project will support and assist newly arrived migrants and refugees adjust to a new life in Australia and connect with their local community,” Senator Patterson said.