The Fairfield City Settlement Action Plan
CORE Community Service and Fairfield City Council led over 22 government and non-government as part of the action plan to help guide the settlement of refugees in Fairfield City between 2017 to 2020.
The Fairfield City Settlement Action Plan (FCSAP) was a place-based initiative developed within the Fairfield LGA in response to the influx of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into Australia over this period, over ten thousand of whom settled within the LGA.
The FCSAP sought to bring together service providers and other stakeholders in the settlement sector to improve settlement outcomes for humanitarian entrants. It sought to do so by:
1. improving collaboration between local service providers, and between service providers and government departments
2. identifying and addressing gaps in service provision, and
3. enhancing the ability of local actors to shape broader policy and programs through advocacy
Evaluation Report released 1st July 2021
The Edmund Rice Centre was contracted to conduct an evaluation of the FCSAP. The Evaluation report concludes that the plan was largely successful in achieving its objectives.
The key achievements of the FCSAP were to
1) facilitate a large number of collaborative projects and initiatives within the Fairfield LGA, building on the LGA’s long traditions of collaborative work
2) significantly expand capacity within the LGA to address structural issues through highly effective advocacy, both in the form of formal public advocacy and more informal channels of influence opened up by the FCSAP itself.
The report makes the following recommendations
Recommendation 1: That the FCSAP be adopted more widely as a model for place-based settlement support
Recommendation 2: That some settlement funding be set aside for place-based initiatives
Recommendation 3: That community engagement be more fully integrated in future settlement work, both in Fairfield and elsewhere
Recommendation 4: That engagement with leadership figures be more explicitly structured in to future initiatives
Recommendation 5: That mechanisms for managing collaboration be given explicit attention in designing future initiatives
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.
Framework of Five Principles
The Plan is built on a framework of five principles:
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 •
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.
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.
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
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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