The Australian Refugee Council (ARC) is the national body for refugees and the organisations who support them. They provide support services and advocate for policy change.
The ARC welcomes members of the community to join their movement for refugee rights and help them to advocate on individual, collective and public levels.
Your advocacy efforts could range from helping individuals to access existing services, to calling for policy change to create services that are needed, to helping influence public opinion on the refugee crisis.
Advocate for refugee rights
Volunteering your time, skills and expertise is a fantastic way to make a positive impact for issues you’re passionate about.
The Australian Red Cross is looking for volunteers for their Migration Support program, but their website also has lots of great ideas of how you can take action in your community, school and workplace to make a difference for people seeking asylum in Australia.
Become a volunteer
4. Donate goods
When people flee their homes, they often leave with just the clothes on their backs. Even after reaching safety, refugees may need essential items to help them start their new lives.
The West Welcome Wagon is a not-for-profit incorporated organisation providing material aid donations and assistance to asylum seekers in the Australian community.
Run by volunteers they identify the needs of local asylum seekers and respond to them. The most commonly requested items include children’s items (bassinets, cots, clothing, prams, blankets and nappies), warm clothing for adults, large household items (washing machines, beds, fridges, dining tables, drawers and rugs) and non-perishable food and toiletries.
5. Support employment pathways
SisterWorks is a not for profit that assists women migrants, asylum seekers and refugees to become financially independent and happily settled in Australia.
Employment is a vital part of refugees becoming self-reliant and building a future for themselves and their families in Australia.
And it’s not just refugees who benefit. Refugees bring strong cultural knowledge, resilience skills to existing teams, while integrating refugees into our workforce helps build social cohesion. And finally, companies with more diverse teams have been proven to perform better!
Support refugee employment
6. Create community
Nothing connects children better than sports and recreation. Community activities not only help children form friendships, they can also support refugee parents to engage with their local community.
Most local community centres or councils would have an after-school sports or community program. Check out your local council website, ask how to get involved, or start a conversation with the family whom you’ve noticed is new to the area. Or if you don’t find an appropriate activity you can join together with them, why not start a multi-cultural cooking class, community gardening project or regular playdates with the children?
7. Be a mentor
Red Cross is just one of many organisations in the community working to support people seeking asylum, refugees, and migrants. Opportunities are varied and may see you running an informative session in a school or perhaps mentoring people to assist them into employment.
8. Amplify refugee voices
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) is Australia’s largest human rights organisation providing support to people seeking asylum. The ASRC can also connect you with powerful speakers from refugee backgrounds to speak at your community, school or workplace event.
By listening to people with lived experience of displacement and asylum seeking, we can better understand how we can help as well as amplify their voice in any discussion, policies or programs involving them.
Book a speaker
9. Become a refugee sponsor
The Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot (CRISP) program allows groups of everyday Australians to welcome refugees into their local community and help them from ‘day one’ of their Australian journey. Inspired by the Canadian community sponsorship model, CRISP harnesses the goodwill and local knowledge of community groups to help refugees settle in Australia.
The refugees involved come from a variety of countries and are identified by UNHCR as being in urgent need of resettlement. Community groups can apply for approval and training, before being connected with a CRISP refugee household.
Support community sponsorship
10. Stay informed with Save the Children
The global refugee crisis is complex and constantly evolving. Our teams are on the ground ready to respond where children and their communities need us.
You can be kept informed on how to support our work with vulnerable children and their families around the world, including those impacted by the refugee crisis by:
Following our social channels:
Subscribing to our Newsletter: