In 2012-13 there continued to be significant settlement in rural and regional Victoria, with 15% of newly arriving humanitarian entrants or those granted permanent protection visas settled in these areas.
Many asylum seekers have found their way to rural and regional Victoria, including those in community detention and on a Bridging Visa E. The most significant numbers of people settle in Geelong, Shepparton and Mildura.
Foundation House has rolled out a mental health funded pilot program in these three areas in 2012/13. In Shepparton and Geelong this provided the capacity to engage bi-cultural workers, providing the opportunity for a greater focus on group work and community based interventions
This funding also provides additional counsellor-advocacy capacity across the three regional centres. In 2012 – 2013 we partnered with the following agencies to provide torture and trauma counselling services in rural and regional Victoria::
Ballarat Community Health Centre
Bendigo Community Heath Services
Glastonbury Community Services in Geelong
Latrobe Community Health Service in Latrobe Valley
Primary Care Connect in Shepparton
Sunraysia Community Health Services in Mildura
Swan Hill District Health
In addition we have worked in a number of other rural and regional centres with significant refugee background populations including Nhill and Wodonga.