Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia (CRSA) welcomes today’s announcement that the Federal Government will increase Australia’s humanitarian intake to 20,000 places per annum, up from 17,875. The government has a stated goal of having 5,000 additional community sponsorship places for refugees each year but has yet to announce new measures to achieve this.
Lisa Button is CEO of the organisation that provides everyday Australians with opportunities to ‘sponsor’ refugees through the government-backed Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot (CRISP) says:
‘This is very welcome news and shows the Albanese government’s commitment to doing more in response to the global refugee crisis, and its recognition of the immense positive contribution that refugees have made and continue to make to Australian society. We encourage the government to build on this momentum by sharing a roadmap towards its goal of 5,000 additional community sponsored places, using programs like the CRISP and other new models that we and others have been advocating for.
‘Later this month we will mark the one-year anniversary of the first refugee newcomers arriving in Australia under the CRISP. We have seen the amazing benefits of this community-led approach through which refugees arrive into the warm embrace of a ready-made network of local community members – everyday people who form local ‘Groups of 5’ that our organisation trains and supports to do this rewarding work.
‘With the right programs and policy settings, everyday Australians can further add to the government’s efforts and generate significant shared benefits for refugees, for local community members and for Australian towns and cities. A similar community-led approach in Canada has enabled more than 325,000 refugees to build their lives in safety over the last 40 years in addition to those who enter through the ‘government assisted’ stream and has helped speed up the integration of those refugees into their new communities.” Ms Button said.
Shabnam Safa is a former Hazara Afghan refugee and a key member of the CRSA team and comments:
‘Today’s announcement is a significant positive step and immensely welcomed by the refugee communities. Having arrived in Australia as a refugee nearly 15 years ago, I have witnessed the compassion and generosity of its people towards refugees every single day. It’s truly heartening to see our government policies reflect that and there’s so much more that can be done to capture that community goodwill.”
More information: Those interested in knowing more about the CRISP or becoming involved can go to CRSA’s website to find out more: www.refugeesponsorship.org.au