Civil Society Pledge

A pledge from the Australian community to support refugee sponsorship

Many ordinary Australians across the country wish to help people fleeing conflict and persecution rebuild their lives in safety and help refugee newcomers use their strengths and attributes to contribute to the success of the Australian communities who welcome them.

Community sponsorship of refugees is a way of involving ordinary citizens in supporting and welcoming refugees in a way that ensures their full social and economic inclusion.  It’s been tried and tested for decades in Canada and now being adopted in many other countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany.

Through community sponsorship refugees benefit from intensive, individualised and holistic support provided by committed local volunteers.  Local communities uncover and build capacities and networks, with local citizens connecting with one another through the bond of a powerful shared purpose. Sponsorship can also help regional communities wishing to attract migrants to boost their populations and expand their workforces.

On the occasion of the inaugural Global Refugee Forum in December 2019, we welcome the Australian government’s commitment to undertake a much-needed review of this policy area and we pledge to actively support the development of a community refugee sponsorship program in Australia which is:

  1. Co-designed with community groups and refugees
  2. Affordable to sponsors
  3. Accessible to refugees in most urgent need of resettlement
  4. Engages a broad cross-section of the Australian community
  5. Provides a way of expanding Australia’s resettlement program

We encourage other organisations to join this open and on-going pledge to see this vision realised before the next Global Refugee Forum in 2023.

To add your organisation to this pledge please click here

Endorsed by the following organisations (as of 10 January 2020):

Afghan Fajar Association Incorporated
Alfred Deakin Institute
Amnesty International Australia
Armidale Sanctuary Humanitarian Settlement, Inc.
Asylum Seekers Centre
Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce
Australian Multicultural Foundation
Bridge for Asylum Seekers
Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project
Brotherhood of St Laurence
Canberra Baptist Church
Canberra Refugee Support Inc.
Catholic Social Services Victoria
CatholicCare Social Services Western Sydney & Blue Mountains
Central Victorian Refugee Support Network
Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University
Centre for Multicultural Youth
City of Fremantle
Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative
Coromandel Valley Uniting
Council of Churches Western Australia Inc.
Critical and ethical Mental Health research group, University of Adelaide
Diaspora Action Australia
FamilyCare
Gippsland Multicultural Service Inc
Global Alliance for Peach
International Society for Human Rights Australia Inc
Jesuit Social Services
Kyogle Quakers and Kyogle Spiritual Soiree Group.
Lanka Lions Cricket Club Inc
Lismore Amnesty Vigil Group
Makassar Refugee Learning Partnership
Mercy Community
Metro Assist Limited
Migrant Youth Advocacy Network
Mountains Anglican Refugee Network
MRC North West
Multicultural Australia
Multicultural Services Centre of WA
Naked Emperor

National Council of Churches in Australia
NSW Ecumenical Council Incorporated
Om Dhungel Consulting
Our Race
Overseas Services to Survivors of Torture and Trauma
Oxfam Australia
Pottsville Refugee Support group
Pride Foundation Australia
Quakers Australia
Queensland Churches Together
Queensland Congregational Fellowship
Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS)
Refugee Council of Australia
Regional Council of the Temple Society Australia (as a free-thinking Christian-based faith community, we cannot speak on behalf of all our TSA members)
Regional Opportunities Australia
Romero Centre
Rural Australians for Refugees Daylesford
Save the Children Australia
Serbian Community Association of Australia Inc
Settlement Services International
Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia
Sidney Myer Fund
Sisters of the Good Samaritan
South Gippsland Rural Australians for Refugees
Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre
Sydney Multicultural Community Services
Tasmanian Refugee Rights Action Group
The Generous and the Grateful
The Salvation Army Australia
The Tasmania Opportunity
United Federation Of Volunteers For Refugees Action (ufvra) inc
Uniting Church Action for Society and Environment
Uniting Church in Australia Assembly
Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania
Victorian Council of Churches
Welcoming Australia
Whittlesea Community Connections
Wonthaggi Neighbourhood Centre at Mitchell House Inc.
Wyndham Community and Education Centre