Refugee Settlement and Social Inclusion

Refugee background migrants to Australia face significant challenges. We work in partnership with community organisations to investigate and promote conditions that support children and families from refugee backgrounds to overcome barriers to social inclusion, participation and wellbeing.

Count Me In

Count Me In is a partnership project between the University of Melbourne and a number of community based organisations (Merri Health, Hadfield Sports Club, Moreland City Council, Arabic Welfare, Carlton Football Club, AFL Victoria, Netball Victoria, Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, Fawkner Primary School) that aims to increase opportunities and provide support for sports participation by culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. This project aims to promote physical, mental and social health of migrant and refugee background young people by providing supported opportunities to participate in sport. Bi-cultural Community Support Co-ordinators (CSCs) have been employed to recruit and support the engagement of young people and their families into local mainstream sports clubs. 

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Scoping Study 2014-2015: Promoting sports participation for refugee-background young people

Sports participation confers a range of physical and psychosocial benefits. For refugee and migrant youth, it also has the potential to be a critical mediator for achieving positive settlement and the capacity to engage meaningfully in Australian society. Participation in organised sports increases physical activity levels and physical health, and is also associated with lower levels of depression and suicidality; greater levels of psychosocial maturity, self-esteem, social connectedness and social competence; reduced involvement in antisocial activities; and higher academic outcomes. Refugee and migrant youth have low participation rates in sport however, and identified barriers include costs, discrimination and a lack of cultural sensitivity in sporting environments, a lack of knowledge of mainstream sports services on the part of refugee background settlers, lack of access to transport, culturally determined gender norms and family attitudes.

Progress Report August 2015