About

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Canberra’s Captain Cook Memorial Jet, Lit Blue For World Refugee Day, 2005 (Photo courtesy of Lannon Harley Photography)

Supporting the settlement of refugees in our National Capital

You can visit us on twitter – @CRS_Refugee

or email us at – actrefugee@gmail.com

Who are we?

We are incorporated in the ACT and publicly accountable as a result. We are a not-for-profit organisation and all of the members work on a part-time basis in a voluntary capacity. We do not have an office or employees so our overheads are very low. Canberra Refugee Support is a member organisation of the Refugee Council of Australia.

We are recognised by the Australian Tax Office as a charitable organisation and donations are tax deductible. We are not funded by government but we do raise funds to help asylum seekers and refugees.

We work with a wide range of refugee stakeholders (see our Links page).

What do we do?

The role of Canberra Refugee Support is to provide support to refugees including:

  • assisting refugees to settle in Canberra;
  • providing advocacy; and
  • providing policy advice.

In meeting this role, Canberra Refugee Support:

  • conducts training courses;
  • conducts settlement and provides support to asylum seekers and refugees in Canberra;
  • provides advocacy services to assist refugees, within the limits allowed by laws and regulations; and
  • provides ongoing contact with policy makers and their advisors so that we can improve the level of equity and access for asylum seekers and refugees.

We also help others to make connections with refugees. This includes fostering activities and programs such as providing refugee scholarships and refugee mentoring programs. We provide practical support to assist with accommodation, the provision of furniture, linking into local services, access to schooling and English language training, health care, jobs and networking in the Canberra community.

We have sponsored a Refugee Mentoring Program at Calvary Hospital and this is assisting refugees to orient to an Australian work-place and decide what future study is best for them.

We assist to provide the stability and security many families have been denied in their country of origin. This is one of the more important tasks that we undertake and it is especially important for the people who have been traumatised.

We also help to support refugees financially where we can. We make judgements as to our involvement with refugees on the basis of their need and our capacity to assist but not on the visa type that may be involved.

Our Aim

Our aim is to help asylum seekers and refugees become as independent as possible as soon as possible.

That is sometimes difficult for people who are living with the uncertainty of a temporary visa and those who are denied the right to work. Nevertheless our members are able to offer compassionate support and help to work towards a positive outcome.

Our People

Our members are concerned humanitarians. We come from all walks of life and circumstances. The common thread is that we care about other people and want to help them to establish themselves in our community.

Some Statistics

Each year we provide thousands of hours supporting refugees. In recent years we have provided tens of thousands of dollars each year to the many refugees, or former refugees in Canberra. Most of that money is donated from members of the Canberra community and some from other parts of Australia. We do not receive any government program funding.

Membership

We have about 250 members.

 

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi there,

    I have recently joined as a volunteer with Barardos forstering agency as a mentor. I have started mentoring a primary school aged girl with her schooling helping with English, reading, writing, math.

    I would like to volunteer through one of the services you work with for a similar mentoring program. If there is anyone you could put my in contact with?

    I have a police check and working with vulnerable people clearance.

    Kind regards, Pearl.

    Like

    • Hi Pearl,

      Thanks for your inquiry. As a start point, I suggest that you contact Companion House (whose link is on our webpage). CRS does not offer a mentoring program as such – our support of refugees and asylum seekers is more like ‘good neighbour support.

      Good luck!

      Like

  2. Hi,

    I’m leaving Canberra in a few weeks and have a washing machine (good condition) and comfy couch (needs some patching) that I would like to donate. I don’t have the ability to transport them myself – does the CRS have any involvement in these kinds of donations, or could you recommend someone else I should speak to?

    Cheers,

    Like

    • Hi Christian,

      Thanks for thinking of us. We previously maintained a store which held items donated until they were needed, but no longer do so – for a number of reasons. Generally we put out a call for items as the need arises. I’ll pass on your request via our email address, and your offer will be passed out to members who are looking after our clients.

      Again, many thanks for the offer.

      David

      Like

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