Moving to a new country can be an exciting time but also filled with unexpected surprises and the fear of the unknown.
If you have recently moved to Australia or plan to, knowing where and how to access migrant support services is so important to settling into your new home.
Whether it is tapping into local networks of communities from your country of birth, accessing English language education, or assistance finding work, there is support available to you.
Find out where you can find support depending on what assistance you need below.
A recent report on migrants from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds has shown one of the most important factors for migrants successfully finding work in Australia is English proficiency.
The Australian Government has previously identified this skills gap that affects a significant portion of newly arrived migrants and created the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).
AMEP offers free, unlimited, English classes to eligible migrants and refugees until they reach vocational proficiency.
Even if you have taken the program before or have been living in Australia for several years, you and your dependents may still be eligible.
The AMEP program has classrooms all over the country including in rural and remote areas.
You can also join classes online or study by distance learning so no matter where you live you can access the program.
You can find more information about the program in a range of languages here at the Home Affairs website.
Finding a job can be tough, especially if you don’t have the support networks there for you like you may have had in your country of birth.
The lack of support isn’t the only issue you may come across. Many migrants from a CALD background have noted the qualifications they earned in their home country may not be accepted in Australia.
It is important to have someone that can help you navigate the process of re-certifying your existing qualifications or identify new training opportunities that fit with your existing skills and experience.
Your consultant at MAX can help guide you through this sometimes-complex process or if you are looking for a change they can help you find a job in a new field.
Where to find community connection
It can get lonely moving to a new town let alone a new country! Finding connections with the same cultural background and language as you can help combat homesickness.
One of the best ways to beat homesickness and get involved in your community is to join a sports team or hobby-based interest group.
You will meet new people, build new networks, and become a stronger part of your local community sooner.
It may also be worth checking online for websites, forums or social media groups to find online communities.
This would be a great option for those that live more regionally or rural to keep in touch with like-minded people.
Getting in touch with your local council is another good idea to link into local community and discover what migrant support services are available locally.
Depending on where you live there may be dedicated groups revolving around shared culture or language or religion.
Your local council may also have specific initiatives and supports for you as a recent migrant refugee that may help.
It is also worth noting that you shouldn’t just limit yourself to sticking to particular cultural groups of people.
Some new migrants may have strong support networks and jobs waiting for them on arrival.
Others might need a little more support to get truly settled and there is no shame in asking for help.
The Australian Government provides a range of migrant support services which you can find more information about here: Moving to Australia - Services Australia.
Each state and territory in Australia also have organisations that assist recent migrants in a variety of ways which you can find below:
NSW - CMRC
ACT - MARSS Australia Inc.
VIC - Support services - DFFH Services
QLD - MQ - Migrant support and advice
SA - Australian Migrant Resource Centre
NT - Multicultural Community Services of Central Australia
WA - Communities and networks
TAS - Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania