Action Plan

The City of Brimbank is one of the most diverse municipalities in Victoria and has a long and proud
history of welcoming migrants and new arrivals. These have included humanitarian entrants (refugees
and asylum seekers), migrants and skilled migrants who make up a significant proportion of our new and
emerging communities.
Brimbank Council supports multiculturalism, community harmony, and social justice. Diversity is central
to its identity, embracing people from around the world and weaving their stories into one another.
Why Diversity is Important to Brimbank
Our cultural and linguistic diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Brimbank’s rich history of welcoming
migrants and refugees has helped shape our dynamic community and build local industry through the
increase of population, participation and productivity.
Migrants bring new perspectives and skills, expand our links to overseas markets, support international
trade and tourism, fill skills gaps and labour shortages, and help to keep our industries strong. Refugees
and asylum seekers make substantial contributions to our State, bring new skills, create employment, fill
employment gaps and strengthen our links to new markets.
To get the most from our diversity, we need to continue building a community and economy where all
individuals can participate, successfully navigate systems and overcome barriers, and achieve their
economic, social and personal goals.
The Brimbank Settlement Action Plan 2019-2023 (BSAP 2019-2023) sets priorities to achieve positive
outcomes for people from culturally diverse backgrounds. It focuses on:
Achieving culturally responsive policies, services and programs
Inclusive, harmonious and united communities
Improved economic opportunities.
The Brimbank Settlement Action Plan 2019-2023 (BSAP 2019-2023) reflects community and service
provider priorities, challenges and partnership opportunities. It aims to ensure the settlement journey
of migrants and new and settling communities is sustainable, and optimises opportunities for
Council’s Commitment
Council’s commitment to the successful settlement of migrants and new arrivals is reflected in the
Brimbank Council Plan 2017-2021 vision ‘Brimbank – vibrant, harmonious and welcoming, a great place to
live, work and grow.’
Brimbank Council’s role in supporting migrant and new arrivals includes:
Bringing together key service providers to identify issues/opportunities for

Engaging with key stakeholders in the Brimbank community and all other levels
of government.
Promoting the needs and aspirations of the community and to recommend
preferred courses of action to state and federal levels of government, statutory
authorities and other sectors.
Brimbank Social Justice Charter
The Brimbank Social Justice Charter expresses Council’s commitment to the principles of access, equity,
community participation and human rights. Council’s commitment to social justice responds to issues of
socio-economic disadvantage, social exclusion and discrimination in our community
“Social justice inherently recognises that some citizens are disadvantaged and do
not enjoy the same access to resources as others. Brimbank City Council is
committed to taking action to strive for social justice and address the social,
economic, environmental and cultural determinants that cause disadvantage.”
Brimbank Social Justice Charter
Refugee Welcome Zone
In 2002, Brimbank was declared a
Refugee Welcome Zone (RWZ)
. The RWZ is a local government area
that has made a commitment to welcome refugees into the community, uphold the human rights of
refugees, demonstrate compassion and enhance cultural and religious diversity in the community. This is
an initiative of the Refugee Council of Australia.
Legislation and Policy Setting
Multicultural Australia - United, Strong, Successful
In 2017, the Federal Government released Australia’s Multicultural Statement:
Multicultural Australia –
United, Strong, Successful.
The statement renews and reaffirms the government's commitment to a multicultural Australia, in which
racism and discrimination have no place, based on the values of respect, equality and freedom.
Multicultural Australia: United, Strong, Successful
sets out the vision for embracing diversity while
emphasising Australia’s unique national identity and the importance of being an integrated and united
people. The statement recognises that to strengthen Australia’s economy we must support the
economic and social participation of our new arrivals who bring with them the skills, knowledge and
networks of a diverse workforce.
The National Settlement Framework
The National Settlement Framework is a high level structural blueprint for Commonwealth, State and
Territory and Local Government, to work in partnership to effectively plan and deliver services that
support the settlement of migrants and new arrivals in Australia. The framework has established focus
areas for the three tiers of government to regularly engage and collaborate with stakeholders.
Local Government Act 1989
All 79 Councils across Victoria are required to operate in accordance with the
Local Government Act
The Act requires that Councils:
Improve overall quality of life of people in the community
Ensure services delivered are equitable and accessible

Act as a representative government by taking into account the diverse needs of the local
community in decision making, fostering community cohesion and encouraging active
participation in civic life.
Victorian Multicultural Act 2011
Victorian Multicultural Act 2011
establishes key principles to foster a common understanding of
cultural diversity. It also acknowledges the positive effect of cultural diversity on social, cultural and
economic life in Victoria.
The Act recognises that one of the central tenets of multiculturalism is citizenship and that the
expression ‘citizenship’ is not limited to formal Australian citizenship, but refers to the rights and
responsibilities of all people in a multicultural society.
Brimbank Council Plan 2017-2021
Brimbank is a vibrant, growing community in the heart of Melbourne’s west. The estimated resident
population of 202,863 in 2016 makes it the third most populous municipality in Greater Melbourne. The
Council Plan has the following four goals and a series of strategic objectives:
- An Inclusive Community
- A Liveable Community
- A Prosperous Community
- An Innovative and Responsive “Community First” Council
Why a Brimbank Settlement Action Plan?
Brimbank understands the successful settlement of migrants and refugees is dependent on the quality
and level of support they receive as they begin their new life as Australians, and upon appropriate and
adequately resourced early intervention measures. Additionally, Brimbank appreciates that settlement is
not necessarily a linear process and that migrants and new arrivals may not progress through services
and opportunities in a sequential manner.
Recognising that this cannot be provided by one agency or organisation alone, collaborative, multi
agency partnerships are required to develop cooperative responses and sustained advocacy. As such,
coordinated settlement services and enhanced levels of support, tailored to meet the specific needs of
people from new and emerging communities,
are essential to successful settlement. Such support
increases their sense of wellbeing, security, confidence and allows our community to prosper.
Brimbank believes a sound planning framework for settlement services is critical to ensure that services
match needs, effective and efficient use of resources, there is clarity of roles and responsibilities and
services are coordinated to avoid duplication.
In line with the National Settlement Framework, the Brimbank Settlement Action Plan has identified key
focus areas that respond to the emerging and ongoing needs of migrants and new arrivals:
1. Planning – supportive and collaborative settlement and support service planning structures and
processes, including information sharing.
2. Delivery – coordinated client-centric services eliminating gaps and duplications.
3. Evaluation and review – a robust evidence base for assessing and better understanding
settlement and support service delivery and outcomes.

About Brimbank
Fast Facts
Brimbank covers an area of 123 square kilometres
Brimbank’s population is 194,319 residents
47.8% of Brimbank residents were born overseas
58.4% people of Brimbank speak a language other than English at home
Top ten languages spoken at home: Vietnamese, Punjabi, Filipino/Tagalog, Greek, Maltese,
Italian, Macedonian, Arabic, Cantonese, and Croatian
There are over 160 languages spoken in Brimbank
74.7% of Brimbank have a religious affiliation
81% of Brimbank residents born overseas arrived before 2011, 19% arrived during or after 2011
Source: 2016 Census.
Who Are Our Migrants and New Arrivals?
The first European settlements were established at Keilor in the late 1840s, Sunshine (then known as
Braybrook Junction) in the mid-1880s and St Albans in the late 1880s. Brimbank’s suburbs boomed after
World War II, when migrants from southern Europe flowed to the area. More recently, newly arrived
Asian and African communities have developed alongside the more established European communities.
Brimbank continues to be a significant Western Region gateway for overseas migrants, and over half of
Brimbank residents speak a language other than English, with over 160 languages spoken in Brimbank.
Permanent settlement in Australia
Australia's Permanent Migration Programme is designed to achieve a range of economic and social
outcomes. There are three key streams:
– designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in
the labour market, including those in regional Australia. This represents the majority of places
– predominately made up of partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family
members from overseas, and provide them with pathways to citizenship.
Special Eligibility
– covers the former resident category and includes visas granted under
ministerial intervention.
Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Programme is an important part of the country’s contribution to
the international protection of refugees. There are two main components:
Offshore Resettlement
for people who are found to be refugees in another country before they
come to Australia.
Onshore Protection
for people who come to Australia with a valid visa and make a successful
claim for asylum after they arrive.
Brimbank, along with the municipalities of Greater Dandenong, Whittlesea, Casey and Hume, is one of
the main locations refugees are settling. The countries of birth that many of the recent refugee arrivals
to Melbourne come from include Iraq, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Sudan, Bangladesh, Pakistan
and Iran.
: Refugee Council of Victoria.
Consultation and Engagement
The BSAP 2019-2023 was developed in consultation with the community, settlement support agencies
and council staff. This involved a review of the previous BSAP 2013-2017, its achievements and an
analysis of the current settlement trends according to local, state and federal data.
Consultation Methods
Key Communities
Online surveys
Public consultations
Guest speakers at network
Focus groups and workshops
One to one meetings
Telephone interviews
December –
Service providers networks
English language providers
Case workers
Interest groups
Refugees and asylum seekers
Aged residents
General public
BSAP 2013-2017 review
February – March Federal, State and Local
Settlement Support Agencies
Key Learnings - The Settlement Journey
Opportunities to learn English
- One of the highest priorities for most newcomers, especially learning
opportunities that extend beyond the classroom setting, such as informal social and practical sessions,
e.g. help with shopping and where to find services.
Competing priorities -
There are many new and overwhelming demands for new arrivals when moving
to a new country. These include finding somewhere to live, finding a job, different types of schools,
learning the language, opening a bank account, reporting to Centrelink, going to English classes, applying
for jobs and even understanding things such how the household rubbish collection works. Together
these are often overwhelming and may impend the settlement journey for some, in particular those
from traumatic backgrounds.
Social connections
- No matter how big (festivals, leadership courses etc.) or small (playgroups, swim
sessions etc.) it cannot be underestimated the positive impact these social opportunities create in
people’s lives. Evidence, both research based and anecdotally, indicates that meeting and interacting
with others from similar circumstances, and or neighbours and community members in general, helps to
smooth the transition to establishing new lives in Australia.
Cultural sensitivity -
Learning about what is expected and what is available, without feeling embarrassed
or naïve, can be extremely challenging. This includes being able to speak in their own language and
having access to information that can be taken away (printed, internet access, etc.). Additionally, family
and traditional community connections and structures are often all that new settlers have, so when
these connections break down, many often feel shameful and experience further traumatisation. Having
services, support and programs that assist is vital.
Uncertain funding environments for service providers
- In the current funding environment, services
providers are often required to regularly prepare detailed submissions for ongoing funding while
delivering complex services in a changing global environment. The uncertainty in service provision and
staff employment, combined with highly competitive funding conditions, can significantly restrict longer
term service planning, integration and effectiveness.

Purpose of the Brimbank Settlement Action Plan
The plan aims to:
1. Identify strategic opportunities to work with local agencies, peak representative bodies and the
State and Federal Government agencies to achieve joint goals.
2. Develop strategies to respond to the identified needs of new and emerging communities settling
in Brimbank.
3. Support the work of Brimbank’s settlement agencies.
The Plan is detailed in 8 focus themes:
Education and Training
Family and Social Connections
Civic Participation
Language Services
Services Provision
Education and Training
The provision of diverse learning and educational opportunities contribute to a fair and just community.
Recognising the benefits of formal or informal learning can engender a desire to continue learning,
provide career and training pathways, and encourage active citizenship.
National Settlement Framework
The Role of Local Government
Education and Training
Lifelong learning and partnering and supporting local community.
Local libraries as knowledge and learning hubs.
Council Plan 2017-2021
A Prosperous Community
People are able to access quality education and lifelong learning
What You Told Us
New settlers are often not aware of the range of language learning support that is available and
therefore do not access that support.
It is difficult to learn English when you have to care for young children. This is especially the case
for women.
English classes that provide childcare are very important.
Accessing information and learning English can be done in different ways, e.g. online, one to
one, with and without children.
Genuine approaches to collaborative service planning between service providers need more
An inherent competitive environment amongst service providers makes it difficult to work with
one another.
“I really love going to English classes, but I’d like some help learning about
things like shopping, what services I can use, just someone to talk to in English.”
“I want to learn, I want learn English!” - Asylum seeker

Focus Areas
Increase strategic partnerships that aim to advocate for the increase of resources that facilitate
optimum English learning language opportunities, including increased funding for the provision
of childcare.
In partnership with language service providers and volunteer programs, investigate the
expansion and development of informal language learning program and activities.
Support and promote diverse learning and educational opportunities.
Increase awareness amongst new arrivals of the language learning opportunities available to
Work in collaboration with community and stakeholders to increase their capacity to effectively
deliver their programs and services.
Working, whether paid or voluntary, creates physical and mental stimulation, offers financial rewards, a
sense of identify and personal achievement, and enables community and social inclusion.
National Settlement Framework
The Role of Local Government
Local economic development initiatives.
Community based volunteer programs.
Council Plan 2017-2021
A Prosperous Community
People are able to find and maintain jobs that provide income
What You Told Us
It is difficult to seek work while learning English at the same time.
It is difficult to find work with low English fluency.
Information provided to clients by different agencies can vary significantly making it confusing
and overwhelming.
Many people are highly skilled and educated but are unable to find work that uses their skills
and education. This can be demeaning and stressful. There is a lack of affordable bridging
courses that would help them acquire the skills and knowledge they need to work in their area
of expertise.
Some skilled migrants will take “any work” because of their limited English proficiency. As a
result, they often get stuck in low paying, low skilled jobs.
Visa problems, many skilled migrants have qualifications that aren’t recognised in Australia.
“People want to work, but it’s a vicious cycle – they’re told to learn English, told
to apply for multiple jobs, told to find work, so they feel they are ‘pulled from
pillar to post’ trying to comply to rules and requirements, while adapting to their
new life. This results in significant stress, which can lead to, or exacerbate other
issues, such as violence and isolation. It’s like they are “set up for failure.”
- Local Service Provider
“We want to work!” - New arrival
Focus Areas
Convene a cross sectoral, municipal wide forum to explore and establish key partnerships that
will aim to increase employment prospects and reduce barriers for migrants and new arrivals.
Investigate genuine employment opportunities and/or work experience for migrants and new
arrivals at Brimbank Council.

Pursue the delivery of programs, initiatives, information and resources that improve access to
local employment opportunities for migrant groups.
Continue to promote volunteering opportunities across the municipality.
Advocate to relevant bodies of the current procedural barriers (and contradictions) for newly
arrived people to learn English while seeking employment (and claiming benefits).
Advocate to relevant bodies including the federal government and professional organisations for
avenues that assist in recognising overseas qualifications.
Family and Social Connections
Positive connections with family and members of the community increases community resilience,
strengthens social cohesion and community harmony allowing people to create meaningful relationships
built on respect, trust, understanding and positive communication.
National Settlement Framework
The Role of Local Government
Family and Social Support
Community centres, recreational activities, aged and childcare services
Health and Wellbeing.
Preventative health programs, community gardens, walking groups,
community recreational activities.
Council Plan 2017-2021
An Inclusive Community
People have opportunities to participate in community life.
Our community belong and are proud of where they live.
What You Told Us
Children pick up English faster, and as a result, the power balance within the family can change,
which can disrupt family harmony and structure.
Children aged 0-5 can have developmental problems if they can’t get to kindergarten and
playgroups because their parent (usually their mother) can’t drive, or feels isolated because they
can’t speak English or are socially isolated.
Teenagers need help in managing conflict in various situations (e.g. at home, at school, in the
street and at social events).
Problems between generations, in particular young people and their parents.
We need to connect with other communities but don’t know how.
Places for our communities to meet together and grow stronger together are important.
Family violence can be the result of stress that is exacerbated by some of the other issues
mentioned in this report.
“Connection to our families and communities means a lot to us, in particular
when things are hard and a little bit stressful.”
“I love Australia. I am so thankful that my family is living here.”
“Sometimes people like our neighbours, don’t understand our way of doing
things.” - New migrant

Focus Areas
Strengthen the capacity of council and other services to plan, support and promote the delivery
of culturally sensitive programs and activities.
Recognise and support the important role of cultural and faith based connections plays within
migrant and new arrival communities.
Increase the awareness of migrants and new arrivals of the availability of Early Years services
and programs.
Support young people to have strong family and peer relationships and access to relevant
health services.
Promote gender equity and preventing violence against women through sharing knowledge,
demonstrating best practice and community strengthening.
Provide and support professional development opportunities for staff to continue their work
with migrants and new arrivals and the issues that affect them in their settlement journey.
Develop opportunities to respond migrants and new arrivals, their groups and organisations
needs around self-determination, advocacy, community governance and active participation in
community life.
Support and deliver activities that celebrate the diverse communities of Brimbank.
Continue to support the delivery of facilities that are accessible and responsive to the needs of
migrants and new arrivals.
Civic Participation
Learning about what is available for, and expected of migrants and new arrivals, is vital to achieve full
participation and adjust to their new way of life in Australia.
National Settlement Framework
The Role of Local Government
Civic Participation and Justice
Welcome to community kits, community festivals, events,
ceremonies, Australia Citizenship ceremonies.
Council Plan 2017-2021
An Innovative and Responsive ‘Community First’ Council
Council is fair, honest and transparent.
Council advocates and works in the interests of our
Council staff are high performing and community-focused.
What You Told Us
New arrivals and migrants have to meet certain requirements, but they find it hard to
understand those requirements and therefore can find themselves in trouble for not complying.
Things like Centrelink requirements, parking fines, even paying bills can be problematic if people
don’t understand.
Not knowing where to go for information can be hard.
We don’t know enough about the communities that are coming to Brimbank.
“I like the Library and the Community Centre. There are lots of things to do and
my children are happy.”
“We don’t know if we are allowed to play in the park so when people come I tell
my family we have to go in case we get into trouble.” - New migrant

Develop and support partnerships to deliver capacity building initiatives that aim to improve
migrants and new arrivals understanding of the expectations and role of citizens.
Collaborate with council departments and relevant agencies to share knowledge that aim to
improve communication strategies.
Advocate for the availability of up to date migration and humanitarian data including asylum
seekers and other relevant information of migrants and new arrivals.
Investigate methods to collate and distribute relevant data in a timely accessible manner.
Continue to provide opportunities for service providers, including all levels of government to
collaborate on identifying service gaps and reducing duplication.
Language Services
Ensuring people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds with limited English
language proficiency or people who have a speech, hearing or sight impairment receive services that are
responsive to their customer’s needs and are of high quality.
National Settlement Framework
The Role of Local Government
Language Services
Community language services programs.
Resident information kits available to everyone.
Council Plan 2017-2021
An Inclusive Community
Our community members are safe, healthy and well.
What You Told Us
It’s difficult to understand what is expected of us when information is not available in our own
We don’t have up to date statistical information on new arrivals to allow us to better plan.
“Sometimes I am too scared to tell people I cannot understand them very well
because I might get treated differently.” - New migrant
Focus Areas
Identify better ways (including print, online, social media, noticeboards) to communicate with
the communities of Brimbank, in particular with people who do not speak English fluently, to
increase the cultural capacity of Brimbank City Council.
Continue to work with relevant stakeholders to seek up to date information about new arrivals.
Continue to implement and refine the Brimbank Language Services Policy and Guidelines.
Ensure that vital information on programs, services and activities are in relevant community
languages and formats.

The provision of affordable, accessible and appropriate housing is amongst the most significant
challenges that continue to face our migrant and new arrivals.
National Settlement Framework
The Role of Local Government
Local community housing and affordable housing programmes.
Council Plan 2017-2021
A prosperous community.
Housing is of good quality, well located and affordable.
What you told us
We just don’t know where to refer people to, there are hardly, if any, appropriate opportunities for our
clients anymore.” - Service provider
Focus areas
Continue to implement the Brimbank Housing Strategy: Home and Housed.
Advocate for appropriate response to the diverse and specific housing needs of migrants and
new arrivals.
Support and develop strategies and programs that reduce household costs that may relieve
housing stress.
The provision of accessible and reliable public transport is vital to help migrants and new arrivals travel
to services, schools and employment.
National Settlement Framework
The Role of Local Government
Community transport services.
Council Plan 2017-2021
A Liveable Community.
People can get around easily on foot, by bike, car or public
What you told us
It’s hard to understand the public transport systems, timetables etc.
We need to have accessible reliable transport, because we don’t have cars.
“I have to catch two buses with my three children to get to English classes.”
- Resident
Focus areas
Investigate reliable and affordable transport options for people who cannot afford to drive,
including more comprehensive community bus services.
Advocate for more reliable and accessible public transport services linking communities to
activity centres.
Work with key stakeholders on ways to communicate with CALD community members on public
transport systems and timetables.

Service Provision
Settlement and support services are an important part of Australia’s commitment to providing a path
and a means for eligible migrants and new arrivals to achieve full participation and adjust to their new
society. Such services are critical, particularly in the initial years. A large number of stakeholders are
involved, including the three tiers of government, service providers and other non-government
Council Plan 2017-2021
Brimbank Social Justice Charter
An innovative and responsive ‘community first’ Council
advocates and works in the interests of our community.
Council is committed to delivering accessible and equitable
services and promoting community harmony through respect,
collaboration and whole of community partnerships.
What you told us
Agencies are distracted from working with their clients, by needing to write tenders for ongoing
There seems to be a lot of duplication of activities.
Agencies don’t seem to have the time to spend evaluating the work we do.
We can’t easily access up to date data, trends etc. to help us plan.
“We spend a lot of time in what feels like a competitive environment with other
agencies working with the same cohort.” - Service provider
Council will:
Facilitate opportunities which will focus on effective collaboration and coordination between
stakeholders (including service providers, organisations and government) that ultimately leads
to better service delivery when working with migrants and new arrivals.
Facilitate opportunities to increase information sharing amongst service providers.
Advocate for the improvement of the provision of up to date settlement information trends.
Advocate for improved service provision and funding for settlement and support services in

Implementing the BSAP
The BSAP will be implemented through an annual Brimbank Settlement Action Implementation Plan
which will outline the initiatives to be undertaken over the next four years towards to achieve the vision
and priorities outlined in this document. The strategies and initiatives will be delivered by Council
through partnerships with a range of stakeholders including community groups, service providers,
business and government agencies.
Council will take a lead role in coordinating the delivery of the BSAP. The initiatives will be delivered
where possible through existing partnership structures and, if required, additional structures will be
established. Community input and feedback will be continuously sought through Council’s advisory
committees and through consultation on a range of policies and strategies.
Monitoring our Progress
Council is committed to robust evaluation and monitoring of the BSAP. This will assist in measuring the
effectiveness and outcomes of the BSAP.
This will be done by:
Informing Council and its partners about the delivery of actions and partnerships undertaken
through the BSAP.
Developing and reporting on indicators.
Highlighting issues and changes affecting migrants and new settlers.
Producing monitoring reports cards.
Annual reviews with partners.

Brimbank Melton Settlement Advisory Committee (representing over 20 organisations) – Focus
Open Public consultation at Brimbank Community and Civic Centre
Brimbank Disability Advisory Committee
Salvation Army
MiCare – settlement services program
Spectrum MRC, managers meeting, case worker meeting, English class
North West Migrant Resource Centre
Foundation House
Life without Barriers (LW), staff meeting, asylum seeker English class, managers meeting
Brotherhood St Laurence, settlement program
Jesuits social services, settlement program
CommUnity Plus, English language provider program
Brimbank Seniors
Persian speaking playgroup
Online survey
Statistical data sourced from and Brimbank ID Profile
Refers to people who are forced to leave their homes for many reasons,
including conflict and violence. Sometimes it is used to also refer to a
person displaced due to a natural disaster and/or environmental
Asylum seeker
Refers to a person who has sought protection as a refugee, but whose
claim for refugee status has not yet been assessed.
Humanitarian Entrant
Refers to someone who is subject to persecutions similar to a refugee
and has connections to Australia usually family who propose such a
person to Australia for resettlement.
Skilled Migrant
Refers to a professional who has acquired skills in a particular
occupation required in Australia. A skilled migrant can be sponsored by
a relative, independent migrant, sponsored by an employer or
nominated by State or Territory Government.
Brimbank City Council
9249 4000
PO Box 70, Sunshine, VIC 3020
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