Media Release Hon Zed Seselja Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural:

Australia’s successful refugee settlement story has reached another milestone with communities ready to welcome the last families of the additional intake of 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees which was announced in 2015.

All visas for this additional intake were granted by March this year and it is anticipated that the final families of the 12,000 will arrive in Australia shortly.

Australia’s humanitarian settlement program is one of the best in the world.  The Coalition Government’s strong border protection policy means that we are able to resettle some of the most desperate and vulnerable people in humanitarian need.

Since 1945, we have welcomed more than 865,000 people under Australia’s Humanitarian Program.

This includes significant numbers of refugees from Europe after World War II, refugees from Vietnam after 1975 and, most recently, our additional intake of Syrians and Iraqis.

This latest intake of Syrian and Iraqi arrivals are, by all accounts, settling well into communities across every state and territory, in regional and metropolitan locations, where there are established services and other supports in place to help new arrivals.

These families fleeing the unrest in the Middle East are being helped to build a new life in Australia through the Australian Government’s range of settlement support, along with assistance from businesses and community groups.

Experience shows us that with appropriate support, humanitarian entrants quickly become self-reliant and participate equally in Australian society.

Over the past six months, the Australian Government has undertaken significant reforms to change the way we approach the humanitarian settlement process.

The new Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP), commencing in the coming months, has an innovative approach to improving outcomes and supporting the settlement of humanitarian and other vulnerable migrants to Australia.

Central to this reform is improving English, education and employment outcomes, ensuring humanitarian arrivals have the best chance at thriving in Australia.

For more information on the Australian approach to settlement, go to the DSS Media Hub page and the Australian Government support page on the Department of Social Services website.

You can also view inspiring stories from refugees on their journey of settling in Australia from the Department of Social Services website.