News

Ipswich! Asylum seekers need you

ASYLUM seekers will soon be calling Ipswich home under a program that lets Australian families house refugees on bridging visas.

The Australian Homestay Network wants Ipswich residents to sign up to accommodate either one or two asylum seekers for up to six weeks at a time.

The program began in Melbourne in May and almost 300 refugees have already become part of Australian society with the help of local families.

All refugees have been cleared on health and security grounds by the Department of Immigration and assessed as likely to secure permanent residency in Australia.

Australian Homestay Network chief executive David Bycroft said this was a unique chance for people "frustrated with the boatpeople debate" to contribute in a positive way.

"All of these refugees have come from a traumatic situation somewhere in the world and arrived by boat in Australia," Mr Bycroft said.

"They've all spent a minimum of three months in detention and are thrilled to get this opportunity.

"This is a chance for people who have been frustrated with what's happening to step up to the plate and make a positive contribution."

"We think Ipswich is a perfect area, it's close to the main infrastructure of key agencies and there are great opportunities for jobs."

AHN is looking for a minimum of 10 Ipswich households to host up to 20 asylum seekers in the first wave of Ipswich placements.

Hosts receive $140 a week for each asylum seeker they host, but Mr Bycroft said the money was just designed to help with the extra costs involved in hosting a visitor in your home.

"We're looking for hosts who aren't in it for the money, but for an opportunity to contribute," he said. "It's a feel-good program rather than a pay-off-your mortgage program."

Families host guests from countries including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Burma. All asylum seekers receive Federal Government assistance through the Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme and the Community Assistance Support program while guests in residents homes.

"While on a bridging visa, they get 89% of the social security entitlements of an Australian citizen," Mr Bycroft said. "They don't have a lot of money, but they can make a contribution to their own living costs."

Only about 30% of host applicants made it through the application process, but many had now hosted multiple refugees. The system had proved popular with retirees who often had the space and time to help foreigners assimilate into a new culture.

"They need help with basic things like setting up a phone card, catching public transport, banking and looking for work," Mr Bycroft said.

"All successful applicants receive online training before their first guest arrives and we are here to support hosts at any time."

Since May, 3700 families have applied to host refugees and more than 500 families have been approved.

Apply online at: homestaynetwork.org.

Topics:  asylum seekers department of immigration



Last-gasp goal saves Ipswich team's Pride

Western Pride goal scorer Dylan Wenzel-Halls.

Substitute stars for draw specialists

Crash debris shut down motorway

Police say vehicle was travelling wrong way

10 jobs you can apply for right now

Job seekers read the job advertisements on large boards at the Ipswich Showgrounds where the Australian Government Jobs and Skills Expo was held today (140613). Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

Plenty on offer from across the region

Local Partners

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

SUNSHINE Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice nearly saw her form a duo with her battle round opponent.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

'Ridiculous': Council refuses renovation at heritage home

NOT FAIR: Karen Solomon of Newtown is angry with Ipswich City Council for refusing her plans to build a colonial style double car port at her Newtown home.

Council rejected development application

Council refusal of 'high density' development ends in court

Ipswich City Council first meeting with the new 2016 council.

Developer took the matter to the Queensland Planning Court

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!