The Australian Refugee Association provides a range of support services to people from a refugee background. The Social Support Program links a family or individual of refugee background with a volunteer who visits them on a regular basis.
Volunteers may be involved in the following:
- Go on outings or participate in activities together
- Practice conversational English
- Assist with orientation and connection to the wider Australian community
- Explain Australian social/cultural norms
- Familiarisation of systems (e.g. public transport, Centrelink)
- Compassionate, friendly and open to communicating with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
Additional volunteer requirements:
- Patience, understanding and respectful of varied cultural attitudes and expectations
- Complete application form, can be downloaded from ARA website
- Attend ARA Volunteer Orientation session
- Attend Social Support Program induction session
- DHS Working With Children Clearance (available free for volunteers)
- Commit to completing Child Safe Environments training (available free for volunteers)
- Reference check will be undertaken prior to becoming an active volunteer
Volunteers can benefit from the satisfaction of supporting new arrivals to gain skills to rebuild their lives in a new environment, providing new arrivals the opportunity to develop social connections, and an increased awareness and understanding about other cultures and the refugee experience. Volunteers have the opportunity to develop personal skills and confidence, to increase their community engagement, and gain a better understanding of the refugee and community services sector. Regular training opportunities are provided.