The Fairfield City Settlement Action Plan

18 government and non-government agencies today launched a new action plan to help guide the settlement of refugees in Fairfield City.

The settlement agencies involved in the Action Plan include service organisations and support groups, as well as government agencies, community leaders and Fairfield City Council.

Fairfield City usually welcomes about 1,000 refugees a year into its community. In 2016 this number increased to about 5,000 refugees from 1 January to 31 December 2016, with a further 1,700 received in the first five months of 2017.

The Fairfield City Settlement Action Plan has been developed to help guide the work being carried out by service organisations who are involved in the settlement of refugees.

It outlines issues and challenges associated with refugee settlement and aims to identify solutions and actions to help address those issues.

It will also provide a more coordinated and collaborative strategic approach to settlement services in Fairfield City.

Framework of Five Principles

The Plan is built on a framework of five principles:

• Place-Based:

focuses on the social and physical environment of the entire community and aims to address issues that exist at the neighbourhood level through better integrated and more accessible service systems

• Collective Impact:

brings people together, in a structured way, with a common agenda, to achieve social change

• Enhancing existing service provision:

achieves greater collaboration and partnership development amongst local service providers

• Identifying service gaps:

managing risk and developing opportunities for refugee, humanitarian and migrant entrants living in and around Fairfield City to achieve settlement outcomes

• Increasing capacity in Fairfield City:

establishing Fairfield as the leading settlement city in NSW; positively influencing government policy; and shaping initiatives that have positive impacts for refugee, humanitarian and migrant entrants.

The actions in the Plan are divided into three broad sections:

• PEOPLE • OPPORTUNITY • PLACE •

Better Together Report Cover

Better Together: Sharing our achievements and lessons

Fairfield City Settlement Action Plan Progress Report (February 2019)

Progress Report

The Progress Report was released on 25th February 2019. This report outlines the need for collaboration to achieve the best results in communities, the Plan contributes to the best possible settlement outcomes for all refugee and vulnerable migrant groups in and around Fairfield City.

The way forward- what’s the next step for the Plan?

Working Group to begin working on recommendations listed in the Progress Report

Escalation of issues- the collection of local data and evidence on gaps and barriers to settlement, which can be escalated to our state and federal partners

Working with Community Leaders- ensuring the Plan has a community voice

Evaluating the Plan- to better understand the impact the Plan has had on settlement outcomes in Fairfield, and it as a model that can be replicated by other cities and communities.

Our Achievements, collectively

Collectively, community organisations as well as state, local departments and agencies have been able to work together by pulling their expertise and resources to achieve best possible outcomes through better service coordination and collaboration.

Business Breakfast

Fairfield Emerging Community Action Partnership (FECAP) held the Business Breakfast on 16th March 2018.

Increasing direct access to private and public sector employers is vital to increasing job outcomes for refugees, people seeking aslyum and other vulnerable migrant groups living in Fairfield City.

To meet this challenge, the Fairfield Emerging Communities Action Partnership (FECAP) undertook its first Business Breakfast in March 2018. The Event was delivered through collaboration between CORE Community Services, STARTTS, Assyrian Resource Centre and TAFE NSW

Businesses learnt first hand from service providers, government agencies and other employers about the strengths and untapped market potential that refugee and migrant communities bring to businesses.

Fairfield City Settlement Action Plan Workshop

The Fairfield City Settlement Action Plan (FCSAP) Workshop was held on the 1st of May in the Fairfield City Council Administrative Centre. The workshop was designed to find:

  • ongoing commitment to the plan
  • achievements against the plan
  • barriers or challenges to implementing outcomes
  • governance structures and escalation mechanisms
  • reporting requirements, monitoring and evaluation methodologies

Senior leaders from CORE Community Services, Fairfield City Council and the NSW Government reiterated the importance of the FCSAP in developing sector wide collaboration to improve settlement outcomes for new arrivals in Fairfield.

Collaboration

The Plan has facilitated increased collaboration between organisations and agencies working to support new arrivals in Fairfield.

A major outcome identified from the ongoing implementation of the FCSAP is the increased collaboration between organisations operating in Fairfield. Connections made from the FCSAP working group and the connections made with lead agencies within the plan facilitated a whole of community approach to improve the settlement experience of humanitarian arrivals in Fairfield. Sharing lessons learnt and the development of tailored initiatives have improved service coordination from a diverse range of stakeholders.

Examples of collaboration include the development of the Fairfield Multicultural Interagency (FMI) which has engaged the Department of Jobs and Innovation, JobActive providers, and local businesses to support job seekers.

A law expo held by TAFE NSW , Department of Justice, NSW Police, Legal Aid NSW and CORE Community Services. Aimed to educated newly arrived members on key laws and consequences of breaking these laws and rights and responsibilities

Peter Shergold

Professor Peter Shergold - NSW Coordinator General for Refugee Resettlement (CGRR)

The NSW CGRR highlighted that community collaboration is a key strength of the FCSAP. The CGRR reinforced that the plan is in a critical phase and must maintain momentum. Further to this, he stressed the importance of understanding the outcomes of the plan and identifying any barriers or challenges to settlement in Fairfield. The CGRR reiterated the importance of accountability against the plan and the need to raise issues through the appropriate government channels where possible.

Addressing culturally sensitive topics

Addressing sensitive issues like domestic violence and disability has been an ongoing learning curve. Holding conferences, workshops and collectively sharing information to address these issues within the community has enabled service providers to continuously review best practice.

Conferences like South West Sydney Domestic Violence Conference Committee support the local communities to be aware of how to address arising issues within the communities, through collaboration.

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