Rural and Regional settlement has become popular amongst many newly arrived refugee and humanitarian client groups. Settlement in regional Victoria has risen from 3% in 2005 to 16% in 2011. The most popular areas are Geelong, Shepparton and Mildura with smaller numbers also going to Ballarat, Colac and Swan Hill.
Regional and rural services providers have worked hard to produce successful results. Service providers include:
Regional and rural HSS Service Providers use their networking, community connections and stakeholders services to provide outstanding settlement. Their main focus is on sourcing migration advice, accommodation, relevant education, health services and employment for the newly arrived clients.
Properties in regional Victoria are not affected by shortage like some larger cities throughout Australia. This gives our newly arrived clients to source affordable and appropriate accommodation that is close to city centres and mainstream services. Transport is well developed and available if needed.
The AMEP is delivered in regional and rural Victoria in all the cities our newly arrived clients settle. Our HSS Service providers work closely with education providers in the areas to ensure that programs are developed according to client group needs.
Many regional and rural areas have seasonal jobs are available, with employers seeking hardworking people. Many of the roles suit the immediate skill sets of newly arrived groups, for example picking and pruning. These seasonal roles also provide much needed local work experience which can lead to further opportunities. HSS Services Providers advocate on behalf of newly arrived client groups to surrounding employment agencies and in most cases, local community and business have come together to welcome the new arrivals.
Even as the most remote destination, Mildura is becoming very popular for new arrivals with its mild Mediterranean climate, seasonal jobs, well developed services and the safety of a regional town. Increasingly Mildura is attracting clients to the region. Mildura has a blooming Afghan community and small but growing Tamil and Iranian communities.
New arrivals are supported by Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council (SMECC). SMECC is working closely with former IHSS provider Sunraysia TAFE and nurturing relationships with local health providers, Midura City Council, Mildura English Language Centre, Centrelink and other agencies. The English Language Centre in Mildura opened in 2008 and supported many of the new arrivals' children.
The Tristar Medical Group Clinic is Mildura’s dedicated health care service provider for newly arrived clients. They won the prestigious Regional Development Victoria Business Achievement Award 2011. Accommodating international medical graduates means that many of the doctors are multilingual, giving most patients the option of a doctor who speaks their first language.