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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Support for new African families in South-East Melbourne

The Howard Government will deliver more than $585,000 in funding to a new project which will provide relationship support assistance to recently arrived humanitarian entrant families from African countries.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today launched the African Family Relationships Services at the South East Region Migrant Resource Centre which will help African families living in Dandenong and outer South-East Melbourne.

“The centre will receive the funding over four years to help families overcome relationship challenges through family support, education and counselling,” Senator Patterson said.

“Humanitarian entrant families not only have to cope with the possible trauma they suffered in their country of birth, or countries through which they have transited, but the additional pressure of adjusting to a new way of life.

“They have to learn new life skills, find employment and housing, and raise children in a new cultural setting with different values and expectations.

“African Family Relationships Services will be available to individuals, couples and families living in Melbourne’s South-East, who have arrived from countries such as Sudan, Liberia, Ethiopia and Burundi.

“Families who start a new life in Australia need our support, that is why the Howard Government has allocated an additional $5.2 million nationally over four years to fund specialised family relationship services for humanitarian entrants,” Senator Patterson said.