Empowering migrant and refugee women

Past project

This project aimed to identify good practice services and/or programmes being delivered to migrant and refugee women and their families in Australia.


The provision of services to migrants and refugees is an important step in supporting families to settle in Australia. Many people come to Australia each year to begin a new life and they require support in a range of areas including help to learn the language, become familiar with cultural norms, seek employment, secure housing and enrol their children in school.  Many of these services occur in the first five years of settlement, however just as important are the services and programs that are being delivered beyond the first five years, including access to mainstream services for this cohort.  In particular services and programs aimed at empowering migrant and refugee women who are former humanitarian and family stream migrants can do so in a number of ways, including increasing their social participation, providing opportunities for leadership, increasing their safety and enhancing their economic empowerment in the long term.

View publications from this project.

About the project

This research was undertaken to identify services and programmes in Australia being delivered to:

  • current/former refugee and humanitarian entrants (including Women at Risk visa holders) who had completed their involvement with settlement services and have been in Australia for more than five years
  • women who were in Australia on family visas, and had been in Australia for more than five years.

The aims of the project were to identify good practice services and/or programmes being delivered to migrant and refugee women and their families, gaps in service and/or programme delivery and identification of key priorities for the Government to undertake in filling these gaps.

The research  comprised three phases:

  • stakeholder consultations to better understand the types of services and programmes available
  • a nation-wide online survey for service providers to help identify good practice and gaps in service delivery
  • a limited number of targeted follow-up interviews with service providers to explore service providers experiences of delivering programs and a more detailed understanding of best practice in delivering services to these clients.

More information

If you would like any more information regarding this research, please contact us or call the Australian Institute of Family Studies on 03 9214 7888. The primary contact at the Institute for this project is John De Maio.




July - November 2016

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