Brotherhood of St Laurence
Supporting the Multicultural Community Team
The very generous support the Collier Charitable Fund has given to the Brotherhood of St Laurence over many years has been instrumental in changing the lives of literally thousands of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who have sought help from the Brotherhood’s Multicultural Community Team (formally the Ecumenical Migration Centre).
Refugees face considerable barriers to successful integration into their new community. These barriers include:
- poor English language skills
- poor education and training
- lack of labour market knowledge, access to formal and informal employment networks
- poor availability of advice (including guidance and training) and cultural transition
- family reunion issues
- discrimination in the labour market
- inability to access childcare, lack of relevant skills or unrecognised qualifications lack of transport
People of all ages, including families with young children, youth who have no support at all, adults either on their own as well as those in couples, are all helped to overcome past difficulties and are assisted to settle happily and independently in our community. With the assistance of the Collier Charitable Fund the Brotherhood assists refugees and asylum seekers from over 30 countries. Many of these people are fleeing war torn countries and have suffered trauma and torture.
Assistance is provided on a one on one basis to help people with specific issues, including overcoming past trauma (including torture), as well as group programs which are designed to provide help with a wide range of issues including:
- Help the young people stay engaged with education and training
- Personal mentoring to help resolve immediate difficulties Practical support through counselling and casework to families and young people single women and young men who have fled from their country of origin
- Information and assistance with income support, health and housing as well as basic needs such as emergency food.
- Training to acquire the skills and understanding of the Australian workforce to enable them to gain employment so that they can live independently without ongoing reliance on welfare
The long term support of the Collier Charitable Fund enables us go beyond the provision of material aid, information, advice and program delivery, it also allows the Multicultural Communities Team staff to collect comprehensive data to ensure that our services are achieving positive outcomes.
Concurrently, on-going data collection informs research into evolving issues and assists with the development of new programs to ensure emerging needs are addressed in a way which is timely and appropriate.
Importantly too, the information relating to program research and delivery undertaken by the Brotherhood of St Laurence into issues confronting people who are newly arrived to our community is shared with all others and in this way programs developed with the support of the Collier Charitable Fund may be widely replicated.