Refugee Week 2023
Play your part in building a more welcoming Australia for refugees.
We are part of the largest humanitarian movement in the world, the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. As part of this movement, we work with people displaced by conflict, persecution and violence all over the world.
Our role is to support people in the places they flee from, the places they pass through, and the places they arrive. We support without judgement or conditions, and our priority is to be there for those who need us most, no matter where they come from.
Here are 10 simple and practical things you can do to support people who have just arrived in Australia.
Even a small donation can greatly improve the lives of people experiencing vulnerability due to forced migration. Your donation will support our Red Cross and Red Crescent partners to continue their life-saving work, help people overseas, and also help people in Australia locate missing loved ones caught in crises.
You can help by making a tax-deductible donation online or by calling 1800 733 276.
If there is a specific cause you want to give to or support, there are several appeals delivering humanitarian assistance:
Use this wonderful Welcome Toolkit to ensure that new migrants in your community feel welcomed and supported as they settle in. Our Welcome Toolkit was created for primary and secondary school students seeking to foster a more welcoming Australia in their local communities. We hope that everyone can use this toolkit as inspiration to act with kindness and humanity.
Actions in the toolkit include share a smile, invite a family to share a meal with you, host an “unpack the facts: humanitarian quiz” and practice English with a newcomer.
It’s important for all of us to listen, learn and share the perspectives of people with lived experience of being a refugee.
These voices, as well as a range of broader resources, can help answer questions and clear up misconceptions about refugees and people seeking asylum.
To learn more about refugees and people seeking asylum, you can visit:
One of the best ways to learn about refugees and people seeking asylum is by hearing directly from a person with lived experience. By organising an Australian Red Cross In Search of Safety session for your school, workplace, or community group, you can hear directly from those who have experienced the stories we hear about in the news, which can help break down barriers and build understanding.
If we aren’t in your area, or aren't able engage with an online session, Red Cross can help you connect with another local organisation, such as the Refugee Council of Australia.
The Australian Red Cross Restoring Family Links program seeks to support families by helping to find missing family members overseas where separation is a result of conflict, disaster or migration.
Many refugees experience family separation when fleeing conflict, persecution or other situations of violence. People can also become separated during the migration journey.
Help members of your community who may be living with this experience to know that Red Cross may be able to assist.
Red Cross is always looking for talented and passionate volunteers who could offer help with English teaching, navigating life in Australia, or anything else new arrivals may need.
Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia (CRSA) has a Community Sponsorship Program that offers a practical way to provide hands-on support to refugees already in the country. You can help by forming a mentor group of at least five people who live in your community and are keen to provide support and share their skills with refugees.
Settling into a new country as a refugee can be a long journey. There are many communities across Australia already welcoming refugees and people seeking asylum. Contact your local council, Welcoming Australia or local support groups to see how you can support local efforts.
These organisations have some great resources:
Finding work and a place to call home is one of the highest priorities for refugees in Australia. Most are eager to work but find it hard to access the networks many of us take for granted. If you are an employer or know someone who is, then connecting someone to employment can transform their life.
If you’re an employer, Red Cross and our partner agencies can help you find great candidates. Contact us here.
These organisations also assist refugees and people seeking asylum to find work:
See also the Humans Like Us refugee employment services directory.
Safe and secure housing is key to our sense of dignity and wellbeing and is the foundation to creating a new life, however many newly arrived refugees can find it hard to secure a home in the private rental market.
If you’re a landlord or real estate agent, we’d love to hear from you.