History of AMES Australia

From humble beginnings teaching English to new arrivals in makeshift classrooms in Nissen Huts in northern Victoria, AMES Australia has grown to be Australia’s pre-eminent settlement agency, delivering services to over 50,000 clients a year.

Formally established in 1951, our organisation’s antecedents were the hundreds of dedicated teachers who selflessly volunteered their time to help the thousands of new arrivals from post war Europe to successfully settle in Australia through the acquisition of English language skills.

Over the years we have continued to grow in numbers and expand our services.

We have been at the forefront of significant social change, supporting new arrivals as they begin to contribute economically and socially to our diverse communities.  We have witnessed the birth of multiculturalism; a term that was new to us in the 1970s but which now we accept as an accurate description of the cultural and ethnic diversity of contemporary Australia.

In many ways, the story of AMES Australia is also the story of post war immigration and multiculturalism.

Since 1945 over 7 million people from 180 countries have migrated to Australia. 2016 census data revealed that nearly half (49 per cent) of Australians are born overseas or have one or both parents born overseas.

AMES Australia has played a significant role in successfully settling hundreds of thousands of new arrivals with our broad range of settlement, English language and employment services.

Our unique strengths-based approach to successful settlement, which recognises and harnesses the resilience of refugees and migrants and builds on their strengths, puts us in a great position to face the new challenges and environments that lie ahead.

We are proud of our history, our achievements and the continuing contributions we are making to our clients’ lives and the broader Australian community.