South eastern Melbourne is a principle site for refugee and asylum seeker resettlement in Australia with approximately 20,000 people from refugee backgrounds living in the City of Greater Dandenong and City of Casey. More recently this population group is moving into the Shire of Cardinia.
In recent years the region has seen a steady increase in the number of people arriving, particularly from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka and South Sudan and other African countries.
The City of Greater Dandenong has the largest numbers of people seeking asylum in the country. This highly vulnerable population has significant health needs. Humanitarian migrants often have complex health, mental health and social welfare needs related to traumatic experiences and resettlement challenges. Varying cultural norms and social stigmas can compound poor physical, emotional and social health, and create difficulties in accessing resources and navigating supports.
A coordinated approach that responds to these needs and can adapt to changing circumstances is therefore required for this population to achieve the best possible health outcomes.
enliven works closely with local primary health care providers, settlement and humanitarian services and the community to improve access to quality primary health care and social supports for refugees and people seeking asylum via its work in the following areas:
- Refugee Health & Asylum Seeker Health Alliance
- Afghan and Tamil Community Strengthening project 2015-2017
- Refugee Health Research