New and emerging communities

Some of FECCA’s core work is focused on identifying the needs of new and emerging communities and ensuring that their associated needs are included and adequately considered in the planning, funding and development of programs and policies at local, state and federal levels.

FECCA has produced Starting and Running Your Community Organisation: A Guide. This manual aims to improve participation by new and emerging community members in Australian society and strengthen their ability to better support their communities. The guide provides information on how to set up, manage, gain funding for and sustain a not-for-profit community organisation in Australia.

Through our work, we seek to strengthen the capacity of new and emerging communities to self-advocate. FECCA’s paper, Improving Access to Funding for New and Emerging Communities, which draws on findings from a series of activities undertaken as part of FECCA’s efforts to identify the needs of new migrants and refugees through community feedback and research, develop and propose evidence-based policy responses.

Despite being a very diverse group, new and emerging communities almost always come from a refugee or other humanitarian background. They are small in number compared to the more established communities and most of their members are new arrivals to Australia, coming from countries in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, Central Asia and Africa. They can have limited or no English language skills and often lack established networks, support systems, community structures and resources.

Through its work, FECCA addresses settlement issues affecting new and emerging communities in general, with a particular focus on:

  • Access to employment
  • Access to education and training
  • Capacity building and access to funding
  • Domestic and family violence

FECCA has a dedicated New and Emerging Communities’ Advisory Committee, whose role is to raise awareness, to provide policy advice and grassroots feedback on issues impacting on new and emerging communities in Australia. The Committee was formed to contribute to the formulation and development of FECCA policy and provide assistance in the consultation process. Through the Committee, FECCA seeks to develop a national strategy to improve outcomes for these communities through broadening awareness of key issues and devising collaborative solutions to respond to them. Click here to view the FECCA New and Emerging Communities Advisory Committee Terms of Reference (reviewed March 2016).

Better Beginnings. Better Futures is a series of four fact sheets that aim to provide a community perspective on some of the most pressing issues affecting new and emerging communities in Australia. The four fact sheets address topics such as access to post-compulsory education in school for new and emerging communities, youth unemployment and organisational capacity and access to funding for new and emerging community organisations. To access the fact sheets click here.

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New and emerging languages project

FECCA is undertaking research on new and emerging languages in Australia. This research will include identifying relevant language groups, the language services needs of community members, how adequately these needs are addressed through the provision of qualified services, and any incentives or deterrents to obtaining interpreting qualifications in these languages. We have produced an issues brief on language services. You can read the brief here.

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