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Humanitarian refugees for rural Queensland

Bob Ward is assisting Access Community Services to prepare humanitarian refugees for work in Queensland’s Lockyer growing district.

Bob Ward is assisting Access Community Services to prepare humanitarian refugees for work in Queensland’s Lockyer growing district.

The project will involve relocating refugees to the Lockyer growing district to work in production horticulture. Bob will be involved in selecting participants, pre-arrival planning, settlement of families and individuals, accommodation, training, employment, education, social networks, Centrelink, health services and ongoing support services.

Bob addressed the recent Gatton Employer’s Forum: ‘Building a Sustainable Future’ where he spoke at length about traineeships in the production horticulture sector.

Other speakers included the Hon Glen Elmes, MP, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs and Minister Assisting the Premier, Mark Pace, the Director of the Gatton Vocational Education Centre and Michael Krafft, the Executive Manager of Access Community Services.


Pictured: Michael Krafft (speaker) with Minister Elmes, Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Robert Cavallucci, Growcom representatives and a number of local employers.

Access Community Services is a community based not-for-profit organisation, established in 1984 to assist seriously disadvantaged and marginalised groups and communities. Since 1992 it has focused on providing specialised support and services to newly arrived migrants and refugees.

One of its successful previous pilot projects is the Rural Employment Assistance Program. This venture sought to relocate Burmese, African and Afgan refugees from areas in south east Queensland that were experiencing high levels of unemployment to rural areas with significant labour market shortages, such as Biloela and Rockhampton.

Out of 48 adults (with 15 dependent children) 47 found employment.

Bob will continue to work closely with Access Community Services during the relocation process to ensure that project outcomes and targets are reached, particularly with respect to Vocational Education and Training requirements.