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  • Subject Name : Social Work

Refugee Community Australia

Table of Contents


Refugee community in Australia.

Needs assessment


Needs priorities.

Goal setting and strategic planning.



Introduction to Refugee Resettlement in Australia

In this assessment the chosen community is of refugees who are living in Australia. Refugees’ community requires social support from the host country so that they can easily resettle themselves and start their lives over again. This community is particularly interesting due to the fact these are people who have suffered atrocities in their birth land and have moved to another country despite many obstacles to start their live again (Koehler, & Schneider, 2019).

This community is important for the social work career as these people require more support from the host societies. This is because they are found to suffer from a range of problems like psychological illness, financial, health issues, housing, education, language barrier etc (Fozdar, & Hartley, 2013). This community is important for the host country and its societies because most of them are given permission to stay on humanitarian grounds which is one of the values upheld by Australia. Further, their assimilation benefits the country as they supply labor to its industries and help in increasing demands for services and products. Additionally, the refugee community enhances the cultural diversity of the country which has positive impacts on the individuals of the country as they are able to learn about different cultures. 

The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges faced by the refugee community in Australia. With this paper, it is aimed to highlight the challenge of seeking employment in this country. It is also aimed at providing recommendations for helping the refugee community find employment get settled in this country.

Refugee Community in Australia

In this section, community mapping is done for the refugee communities. In this, the needs, demographics, resources, perspective etc. are assessed for ascertaining the social programs are able to provide maximum benefits. Refugees are the people who have left their land of birth so as to save themselves from prosecution (Pacione, Measham, & Rousseau, 2013). The United Nations grants the official status of refugee or it is granted by any third-party nation, for instance Australia. From the year 1947, Australia has accepted over 900,000 refugees. Australia has relocated and permanently sheltered 18,750 refugees since 2019 (Refugee week, 2020).

Below is a chart showing the chief 11 countries whose citizens were granted an offshore humanitarian visa to relocate to Australia between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2018. Majority of the refugees belonged to Iraq who were granted this visa.

Most of the refugees have taken shelter in New South Wales and Victoria. The pie chart given below shows the percentage of refugees settling in different Australian states.

Since 2018, Australia has relocated 23,002 refugees. The population of refugees have predominantly young age with majority of male under 35 years of age. The average rate of unemployment was less than 6.5 per cent in Australia for the last 15 years. 38 percent of the refugees who were resettled in Australia between 2000 and 2016 were working, 10% were not employed and 50% did not work at all. Although 81% of them belonged in the age group of 15-64 years. An assessment of 2400 recently relocated refugees showed that for the first 30 months after arriving, most were employed. Out of which 43 per cent were in temporary employment in contrast to 25 percent who were in secure employment (Migration council of Australia, 2019).

Needs Assessment

The refugee communities in Australia needs to have employment so that they easily integrate in the societies and start over their lives. Employment for the refugees is important as it helps in the restoration of their lives. It improves their lives financially, socially and psychologically in the host societies. However, owing to many barriers pointed below they are unable to find proper employment in this country.

The main obstacles faced by the refugees in the employment market are as follows:

  • The refugees do not have any private or public networks to help them in finding employment or their set of contacts is very minimal.
  • As the applicants does not possess any previous work experience in Australia or previous employers to vouch for them, their applications are rejected at the first stage.
  • In Australia, trade skills, formal and tertiary qualifications of other countries and previous work experience are not acknowledged by the employers (Wali, Georgeou, & Renzaho, 2018).
  • Most of the jobs require English proficiency and no one can learn English in a day. Those who have fluency in English language might difficulties in literacy skills (Abdelkerim, and Grace, 2012).
  • Most of them are unfamiliar with online employment sites which are quite popular or they do not know how to use a computer (Wali, Georgeou, & Renzaho, 2018).
  • Typical practice in recruitment involves resumes, interviews and aptitude tests in Australia which are unfamiliar to those refugees.
  • Refugees can suffer from discrimination in the recruitment processes and networking activities (Cameron Farivar, & Dantas, 2019).

Due to these reasons, a person who is most suited for a particular job is rejected as they may face difficulties in presenting themselves during the standard recruitment processes. The employer is then unable to assess them in that situation.

Refugee Needs

From the above assessment it is clear that the refugees suffer from many obstacles when finding a job in this country. Sustained employment is important as it speeds up the integration of the migrants in the Australian societies and also makes the longer-term settlement viable (Kooy, & Wickes, April 1, 2019). Therefore, social work organizations have to devise strategies and programs so that these barriers can be removed for the refugees. The social work organizations have to set up priorities and goals for increasing the rate of employment in the refugee communities.

Needs Priorities

It is found that the refugees are unable to find job due to lower levels of English proficiency, lack of government assistance in seeking employment, lack of social network, non-recognition of educational credentials from the other countries, discrimination, lack of work experience in Australia and no knowledge about the recruitment practices of this country. Amongst these problems faced by the refugees in seeking employment, the priority areas have to be set up where the social work can be provided. Following are some of the priority areas where the social work organizations can render their services so as to enhance the employment rate in the refugees.

  • Social network- Providing a social network where the refugees can get information about jobs which is relevant for their skills and education.
  • English proficiency- Arranging for English proficiency classes for the refugees and their family members.
  • Local work experience - Giving them local work experience by employing them in community services.

This will help them in easily integrating with the host country. Therefore, the refugees can then improve their lives by having financial means that can be used for supporting their family needs of housing, education, health and other needs.

Goal Setting and Strategic Planning

In order to achieve the above selected priority areas, it is important to set up SMART goals and plan strategically. It is thereby recommended that the social work organizations must take the following steps for enhancing the employability of the refugees in this country.

  • Social network must be set-up that is aimed at providing job information to the refugees which is relevant to their educational background and skills.
  • The English proficiency has to be enhanced by giving them classes on English communication. This will help them communicating effectively and thereby integrating with the host society.
  • The social work organization can let the refugees work in community and charity organizations of the country so that they are able to get some work experiences of this country. This will help the employers in trusting the refugees for giving them employment.
  • The social workers need to have skills of organizing, planning, effective communication and cultural competence. The skills of organization and planning are needed so that they are able to organize and plan for the above services. They also need to be effective communicators and culturally competent so that they interact properly with the refugees who are coming from different countries.

Conclusion and Recommendations on Refugee Resettlement in Australia

The refugees face a number of challenges in settling in the host country. However, with a good employment they can restore their lives and fulfil their basic needs. This helps them in supporting themselves and their families. It is recommended that the social networks must give support to the newly-arrived refugees for starting a new life. Further, the proficiency in English is an important factor in ascertaining the refugees are able to seek employment and are able to settle in this country. Hence, the recommended goals for the selected priority areas can be implemented so that the average rate of employment can be enhanced in the country. Thereby, the refugees will have easier settlement and they will feel welcome in this country.

References for Refugee Resettlement in Australia

Abdelkerim, A. A., & Grace, M. (2012). Challenges to employment in newly emerging African communities in Australia: A review of the literature. Australian Social Work, 65(1), 104-119.

Cameron, R., Farivar, F., & Dantas, J. (2019). The unanticipated road to skills wastage for skilled migrants: The non-recognition of overseas qualifications and experience (ROQE). Labour & Industry: A Journal of the Social and Economic Relations of Work, 29(1), 80-97.

Fozdar, F., & Hartley, L. (2013). Refugee resettlement in Australia: What we know and need to know. Refugee Survey Quarterly32(3), 23-51.

Karlsen, E. (2016). Refugee resettlement to Australia: What are the facts? Retrieved from

Koehler, C., & Schneider, J. (2019). Young refugees in education: the particular challenges of school systems in Europe. Comparative Migration Studies, 7(1), 28.

Kooy, J. V. & Wickes, R. (2019). Settling migrants in regional areas will need more than a visa to succeed. Retrieved from

Migration council of Australia. (2019). Australian employers’ guide to hiring refugees. Retrieved from

Pacione, L., Measham, T., & Rousseau, C. (2013). Refugee children: Mental health and effective interventions. Current psychiatry reports15(2), 341.

Refugee week. (2020). Statistics on refugees. Retrieved from,or%20permanently%20protected%2018%2C750%20refugees.&text=More%20than%2075%25%20of%20asylum,been%20found%20to%20be%20refugees.

Wali, N., Georgeou, N., & Renzaho, A. M. (2018). ‘Life is pulled back by such things’: Intersections between language acquisition, qualifications, employment and access to settlement services among migrants in Western Sydney. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 39(1), 85-101.

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