Illawarra Multicultural Services Inc. was established as the Illawarra Migrant Resource Centre (MRC), officially opening in August 1980, as one of the first MRCs established in Australia.
It was established as an outcome from the Galbally Report, which identified the many challenges faced by migrants around the inadequacy of support for their initial settlement.
We facilitated a comprehensive settlement program that included English classes, formal orientation courses that included advice and assistance with housing, education, employment and other support mechanisms.
Our operations were guided by the many recommendations of the Galbally Report, particularly that ‘all members of our society must have equal opportunity to realise their full potential and must have access to programs and services’.
We continue to advocate and support refugee and humanitarian entrants with their settlement journey. In addition, we provide a range of services to disadvantaged members within our community though a range of community and disability services.
Our vision I to be a voice for a diverse community of individuals, families, young people, children and disadvantaged and marginalised peoples from Culturally & Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds that include migrants, refugees and humanitarian entrants and people with disabilities.
Our Settlement Services Programme (SSP) covers the Illawarra Area (Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama LGAs) plus theShoalhaven LGA and the Wingecarribee area.
IMS supports refugee and humanitarian entrants to the Illawarra, Shoalhaven & Wingecarribee areas. Our families are from Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Eretria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Liberia, Sudan & South Sudan, with varying educational backgrounds.
We are experiencing challenges with family violence, low employment opportunities —particularly for youth — and potential/undiagnosed mental health needs.
Casework/coordination and delivery of services. The provision of settlement-related information, advice, advocacy or referral services to a client on an individual basis or family basis, either on request or as assessed as needed by IMS staff relating to issues arising from the client’s settlement experience.
This may include a needs assessment and the development of an individual case plan.
Community coordination and development. The SGP recognises that some new arrivals need assistance to make social connections. Adapting to a new social environment can be daunting, especially if they lack the confidence to seek out opportunities for social engagement. Arrivals with low levels of English language proficiency, from small and establishing communities, the elderly, and those settling in rural areas, can be particularly vulnerable to social isolation.
Youth settlement services. Newly arrived young migrants from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including refugee young people, face significant challenges when settling into their new country. The combination of pre-arrival experiences and adolescent transitions can greatly amplify the challenges these youth face.
Illawarra Multicultural Services Inc.
Business hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 9am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 5pm. Tuesday 11.30am - 12.30pm & 1.30pm to 5pm.
Head office address: 17 Auburn Street, Wollongong NSW 2500
Telephone: (02) 4229 6855