Dellaram Vreeland writes about regional Australia’s involvement in various resettlement programs for The Guardian, speaking with Sakineh and her two sons who recently arrived to Bendigo, Victoria under Australia’s new Communtiy Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot (CRISP).
More than 320 refugees have settled in dozens of locations since the program’s launch in 2022. Lisa Button, CEO of Community Refugee Sponsorship Austalia says “it’s an invitation for anyone to welcome new migrants and they can do that for a variety of reasons,”.
Salah, originally from Iraq describes his family’s experience of the CRISP in Warrnambool, Victoria as helping them to “live a free and dignified life,”.
Community-led resettlement in regional areas can also have the effect of boosting the population and the workforce, with some new programs helping to address job shortages in certain sectors.
Rural Australians for Refugees have also supported a number of humanitarian visa applications, and are “in discussions to see if [their] program can be a model for a ‘named’ scheme as an extension to the current Crisp [sic] scheme,” says national president Rev Paul Dalzell.
Vreeland notes “the government aspired to gradually increase its community sponsored and other complementary places to 10,000 in addition to its humanitarian intake,” which was recently reiterated at the 2023 Global Refugee Forum in Geneva.
Originally published by Dellaram Vreeland, The Guardian 17 December 2023.