Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

More help for Perth families arriving under humanitarian program

Under a new project supported by Howard Government around 750 humanitarian entrant families over the next three years will find it easier to become part of the Perth community.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today officially launched the Strength to Strength project, a collaboration between Relationships Australia WA (RAWA) and the Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS).

“The Strength to Strength project will provide information, referral and counselling assistance for families, couples and individuals who have arrived in Australia under the humanitarian program,” Senator Patterson said.

“Settling into a new country is a daunting experience and the extra barriers and potential experiences of humanitarian entrants, such as trauma, limited English or prejudice or discrimination, can all impact significantly on family relationships.

“Under the program, RAWA will deliver education and skills training, mediation, and specialist domestic violence services while ASeTTS will provide information, referral and counselling services.

“The Howard Government will provide the partnership $630,000 over four years under the Family Relationships Services Program.

“Providing support services to newly arrived humanitarian entrant families will build stronger family relationships and help them feel welcome in their new community.

“Funding for this new service is in addition to the $7 million provided by the Howard Government to Western Australia in 2005-2006 through the Family Relationships Services Program, which aims to minimise the emotional, social and economic costs associated with disruption to family relationships,” Senator Patterson said.