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Minister Launches New Settlement Program in Darwin

The Hon Gary Hardgrave MP

Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Australia

Media Release 9 May 2002

Minister Launches New Settlement Program in Darwin

The Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Gary Hardgrave, will launch the new Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy model (IHSS) in the Northern Territory today.

"Through the Government's offshore Humanitarian Program, Australia welcomes thousands of humanitarian entrants, including refugees, who have faced serious violations of their human rights," Mr Hardgrave said.

"The IHSS provides Humanitarian entrants with the information and access to services they will need to assist their settlement in Australia."

This includes accommodation as soon as they arrive, assistance to find and establish a long-term residence and referral to various community services.

"Many are severely traumatised as a result of their experiences, which include persecution and torture, which has caused them to leave their home countries," Mr Hardgrave said.

"For those who have suffered torture and trauma in their home country, there is specialised support to help them move on from their experiences and ensure their physical and mental health."

On Tuesday, the Government announced 12,000 places for Australia's Humanitarian program for 2002-03.

Mr Hardgrave said Australia's resettlement program was focused on those in the greatest need of resettlement.

A major focus in developing the IHSS model was maintaining the valuable contribution of volunteers in supporting Australia's humanitarian entrants.

The Torture and Trauma Survivors Service of the Northern Territory has been contracted to deliver IHSS services.

"This service provider, with the help of volunteers, will support humanitarian entrants to rebuild their lives in Australia and become self-sufficient as soon as possible," Mr Hardgrave said.

While in the Northern Territory, the Minister will also meet with various ethnic community groups to discuss issues relating to his responsibilities of Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs.

The launch will be held at the Portuguese and Timorese Clubhouse, 32 Batten Road, Marrara today from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. Past humanitarian entrants who have settled in Darwin, members of volunteer groups and community organisations will be at the launch.

9 May 2002


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