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Is Anyone Listening to us? ‘They’re Given Feedback and There’s No Outcomes' Settlement for Newly Arrived Syrians in Regional Australia
journal contributionposted on 2021-01-01, 00:00 authored by Kim RobinsonKim Robinson, Greer Lamaro HaintzGreer Lamaro Haintz
In 2017 the number of refugees arriving in Australia was double the intake of previous decades. In 2015 the Australian Government provided an additional 12,000 humanitarian visas specifically to Syrian and Iraqi refugees. While Australia has a robust predominantly urban system designed to settle refugees who have a high level of need, the same services may not be well suited or available to the Syrian population who are being encouraged to settle in rural and regional areas. This paper draws on empirical research that documents issues affecting Syrian refugee settlement and builds on existing research to identify keys to successful and ethical regional settlement policy. Initial findings suggest high levels of social capital but limited opportunities for employment and education are thwarting settlement efforts. We argue for working in partnership and promoting ethical social work values to address the challenges facing these newly arrived communities. Social workers and human service educators and practitioners in this space must adapt to the rapidly changing service delivery system. Working alongside refugees, in this case Syrian people, requires both co-production and transparency in order to shift perceptions of their vulnerability and lack of agency in order to foster agency and self-determination.