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Interagency Settlement Group

Background

The Interagency Settlement Group (ISG) was established in August 2009 to improve coordination between the Australian Government and the Western Australian Government in relation to settlement services for humanitarian entrants and new migrants. It is a joint initiative of OMI and the Commonwealth Government (Department of Social Services and Department of Immigration and Border Protection).

The ISG is chaired by the Executive Director of OMI. It comprises representatives of Commonwealth, State and local government agencies involved in the delivery of settlement services to migrants.

Purpose and objectives

The ISG provides a single structure for action-oriented settlement planning and information sharing at the State level. This includes a forum through which all three tiers of government, in consultation with relevant non-government stakeholders, can provide coordinated and strategic support and necessary services for target group migrants and humanitarian entrants under several priority areas.

The priority areas are:

  • education
  • employment and training
  • health and wellbeing
  • housing
  • language services
  • transport
  • civic participation
  • family and social support
  • justice.

Key areas of focus for 2016 include employment of skilled migrants, social cohesion and the Syrian refugee intake.

The ISG aspires to achieve two broad objectives:

  1. strategic planning and improved service delivery
  2. fostering communication and sharing information.

Target groups

The ISG considers issues relating to:

  • permanent migrants—people arriving under a range of visa subclasses within the Humanitarian Program (including refugees who require specialist settlement and support services that recognise their often difficult history before arriving in Australia) and within the Skilled, Family and Special Eligibility streams of the Migration Program
  • temporary migrants—longer-term temporary entrants who come to Australia for a set length of time and for a specific purpose (this category comprises visa subclasses for international students and workers/business people)
  • asylum seekers—asylum seekers who may have either arrived in Australia on a temporary substantive visa or people who have arrived in Australia without a visa by sea or air. Australia provides protection to asylum seekers during their status determination process.