Initiated by the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education, this project is a collaboration between 19 partner agencies to investigate the achievements of the main Australian cities for refugee settlement.

'Settlement Cities' is a first of its kind study into refugee settlement through the lens of Australia's major settlement cities, where most refugees begin the process of building a new life in this country. This project examined refugee settlement in the local government areas of Hume, Casey and Greater Dandenong in Melbourne, Fairfield and Liverpool in Sydney's South West, Salisbury in Northern Adelaide, and Logan City in Brisbane. The study had more than 150 participants.

The study highlights that refugees' major aspirations were landing a secure job that matches their skills and securing stable housing, which for many meant owning a home. We also uncovered that making a home in the settlement city was made easier by the presence of vibrant and familiar ethnic and linguistic communities. Feeling a sense of belonging and inclusion was critical for them to feel at home. Refugees desired broader social inclusion but found this to be hindered by language and cultural barriers as well as intolerance in society. Creating community was facilitated by ethno-specific community associations, which have played a role in sustaining community ties and welcoming newcomers. However, community associations and community leaders have been little resourced and valued. Accessing formal support was not always easy for refuges due to physical, digital and cultural barriers.


Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education

Project team
  • Dr Altin Gavranovic - Senior Researcher, Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education
  • Mr Farhad Arian - Research and Policy Coordinator, Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education
  • Dr Mary Venner - Professional Associate, University of Canberra
  • Ms Ayah Abubasheer - Researcher, Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education
  • Dr Mary Tomsic - Research Fellow, Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, ACU

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