The Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, and Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, today announced the opening of the 2012–13 Settlement Grants Program (SGP) funding round at Sydney's Cabramatta Community Centre.
The Gillard Government will refocus settlement funding to invest in the long-term future of Australia's settlement services and assist ethno-specific communities.
'We are strengthening the Settlement Grants Program to support community organisations assist new migrants to fully participate in Australian society as soon as possible after they arrive in Australia,' Mr Bowen said.
'In recognition of the ongoing nature of settlement services, SGP grants in 2012–13 will primarily focus on the delivery of refugee and migrant settlement services, and providing support for ethno-specific communities.'
Senator Lundy said the changes will build the capacity of the settlement sector to support newly arrived refugees and migrants.
'Under the former settlement grant program, funding for ad hoc projects was prioritised over core community services,' Senator Lundy said.
'The changes announced today reflect a decision by the government to reinvest in long term programs that will help new Australians adapt to life in Australia.
'Australia has a proud history of investing in settlement services and these changes will ensure the outcomes of settlement services are aligned with social participation and connection to the Australian community.'
The revised service types under SGP include casework, coordination and delivery of services, community coordination and development, youth settlement services, and support for ethno-specific organisations.
Applications must be lodged by 5pm AEDST on 1 February 2012. Applications received after this date will not be considered. Funding will commence on 1 July 2012 and may be offered for periods of one, two or three years.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will hold information sessions on the grants, which applicants are strongly encouraged to attend before completing and lodging their application.
For further information in relation to information session dates and locations, or to access the online application form and view the the application information booklet visit the DIAC website.
See: Settlement Grants Program
Applicants can also contact the SGP Helpdesk for more information between 9am and 5pm AEDST Monday to Friday (excluding ACT public holidays). Telephone: 1800 453 004