The Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre (MMRC), formerly the Northern Suburbs Migrant Resource Centre, the latter of which was established in 1995, has a strong history of recognised achievements in providing high quality, culturally appropriate, client centred services that meet the needs of refugees, humanitarian entrants and newly arrived migrants.
For more than two decades the Centre has provided leadership in delivering a range of settlement services such as the Initial Information and Orientation Assistance, the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy (IHSS), Settlement Grants Program (SGP), Complex Case Support and Community Detention Program. The Centre has developed significant expertise over this period which has enable it to respond successfully to the specific needs of refugee cohorts such as arrivals from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Congo, Kurdish minorities from Iran, South Sudanese and more recently Syrian and Iraqi arrivals to Western Australia who are part of the Australian Government’s commitment to settle 12,000 refugees from that region.
MMRC is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Social Services to provide settlement services in the North Metropolitan, Central and East Metropolitan Statistical Subdivisions. As an incumbent Settlement Services Activities (SSA) contracted service provider, MMRC has demonstrated innovation as a specialist, client focussed, high quality settlement provider, delivering case coordination, family support, youth, arts, sports and recreational activities along with employment mentoring.
The Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre has a proven, trusted and long established relationship with a wide range of service providers, government agencies and schools and is located at the centre of a recognised ‘Mirrabooka Hub Refugee Service’ where humanitarian entrants are able to easily access a ‘one-stop-shop’ of more than 30 major culturally appropriate service delivery agencies. The hub precinct is recognised local and nationally as a highly effective model for delivering services to the refugee and humanitarian cohort and will enable MMRC to continue to leverage a high level of strategic cooperation, complementary and integrated services and importantly secure better outcomes for refugee and humanitarian entrants.
Due to its capacity and reputation as a ‘provider of choice’ MMRC has secured contracts with the Department of Local Government and Communities (Family and Community Support program and Multicultural Sector Support Program); Office of Multicultural Interests (African Leadership Initiative), Department of Social Services (Humanitarian Settlement Services, Settlement Grants Program (Youth and Generalist Settlement Support Activity and Employment Pathways Settlement Support Activity), and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection Migration Legal Support (IAAAS).
MRC has introduced its own migration legal service on a fee-for-service cost recovery basis to address the huge demand for migration advisory services which could not be met by private migrant advice services due to their unaffordability for many humanitarian entrants.
MRC was the national recipient of the prestigious Australian Migration and Settlement Innovations Award for its ‘Sharing Stories’, a best practice program for sexual health and education on BBV (Blood Born Viruses).
MRC developed and coordinated the highly successful ‘Star Search’ program – an initiative which showcases multicultural young people’s talent. The program’s real strength has been demonstrated in its ability to mentor and build leaders within the community, to encourage young people’s resilience and create a sense of belonging.
|2016 - 2017||
MRC has been increasing its involvement and showing leadership in the area of Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) out of a concern that women from humanitarian backgrounds experiencing FDV were not accessing services or services were unable to respond appropriately to them. MMRC has formed a small working party made up of representatives from services sharing a similar concern in the Mirrabooka area including; Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Centre (Ishar), MercyCare, City of Stirling, CPFS, and WAPOL. The working party organised for a report to be compiled. The Report - “Family and Domestic Violence: Issues Affecting Service Delivery and Relevance for women from Multicultural Communities” was completed in June 2017 and looks at the use by, and relevance of, services for women experiencing FDV from multicultural communities.
partnership with ASeTTS, MMRC coordinated a ‘Good Food for New Arrivals’ cooking and nutrition program in 2015. The aim of the program was to promote healthy eating habits particularly amongst single male clients and for them to learn how to prepare easy and nutritious food. The program was the first of its type focussing on single men and due to its success was expanded to refugee couples.
o address the ‘digital divide’ facing refugees and to improve the computer literacy of refugees and humanitarian entrants, MMRC established five week computer literacy classes for newly arrived refugees. This was extended through a collaborative partnership with the Wanneroo Men’s Shed to provide low cost desk-top or laptop computers. All clients who complete the five week computer course have the opportunity to acquire high quality, refurbished computers, at a minimal cost. The program has addressed a gap in refugee skills and increased access, computer skills and participation of refugees in mainstream activities. Since this innovative program, was more than 100 clients have undertaken computer classes and obtained high quality, low cost computers through this practical partnership program.
An innovative Youth Support program was established in 2016 through a partnership with ‘Youth Futures WA’ and the City of Stirling. The program provides youth support services to at-risk HSS youth at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre in Mirrabooka.
An increasing number of new arrivals referred to MMRC have a disability. This requires early intervention strategies to ensure that clients receive effective Case Management and that their disability needs are met. A partnership with the Ethnic Disability Advocacy Service (EDAC) has enabled high needs disability clients to receive information and advice. Access to an on-site officer from EDAC to provide advice to all MMRC clients on access to and eligibility for disability services in addition to individual advocacy. Enhanced Case Management and early intervention has been delivered as a result of this initiative and this benefit will flow into the e implementation of NDIS services which will require increasing expertise and advocacy.
MMRC has placed increasing importance on obtaining better mental health outcomes for its clients and the Centre have now established referral and staffing arrangements with ASeTTS in respect of ‘in-house’ trauma counselling and intake assessment. Two ASeTTS staff members have now commenced at MMRC on an interchangeable basis every Tuesday and cients are currently receiving assessments and counselling from ASeTTS. These new arrangements with ASeTTS onsite counsellors have significantly enhanced MMRC’s ability to provide early intervention trauma services and improve mental health outcomes for refugee and humanitarian entrants.
MMRC received the first family to Australia who were part of the Australian Government’s commitment to settle an additional 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi arrivals from that region. MMRC demonstrated a proven ability to effectively engage a range of media organisations at local, state and national level to positively promote the Australian Government’s Humanitarian Services Settlement Services Program and a number of positive and successful media engagements over the past 2 years have been generated including Channel 7 National News, The Australian, and Sydney Morning Herald, 7:30 ABC program (special feature), The West Australian, SBS Radio and News, and Channel 9 news. This high quality media management, undertaken by MMRC inconjunction with DSS state and national offices, has enabled well-coordinated, strategic and effective responses to numerous media queries including direct responses to local and national media queries and interviews, written information and proposed media events involving the first Syrian family.
|2014 - 2017||
In its three year Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS) contract with the Department of Social Services MMRC has:
Star Search has a history of working with young people to improve their mentoring and leadership abilities through the form of art. We’ve had some great success stories from our previous participants.
Rania Alhanbali was a finalist in 2015 and then came on board as a mentor and youth leader in 2016 for MMRC various programs and attends WAPA in 2017 she became a judge for the Star Search Grand Final;
Modeste the 2015 Star Search winner has been involved in the 2016 promotion and has been performing at many community events and volunteering his art at many fundraisers and is a positive role model amongst peers;
Arnold Muza 2014 Star Search winner became a mentor in 2016, in 2015 received a paid casual job in choreographing dance routines to young people from migrant backgrounds and recently assisted choreography in a four show theatre piece presented by the Blue Room Theatre;
Mary Chetcuti was a participant in the 2013 Star Search and since then has become an amazing mentor, judge and also MC for Star Search events. Currently Mary has begun planning an MC/performance business;
In addition to these large achievements is the personal growth and development that each participant has achieved during their Star Search journey, for some this may be self-confidence, making new friends, reducing anxiety, while for others it is increased self-esteem and acquiring leadership and teamwork skills.