July 28, 2016

Overcoming social isolation as a migrant

Newly arrived migrants can face social isolation and challenges on accessing relevant information and supports to help establish a safe and comfortable life here in Australia. The key to overcoming social isolation as a migrant lies within the local community.

To minimise any feeling of social isolation, community-based activity groups are a great way to help migrants realise a greater level of independence, create a routine and develop close friendships and support networks. Through these groups, attendees are able to share their stories and experiences on adapting to an Australian way of life.

At Spectrum, these stories and experiences are underpinned by multiple support programs and groups. Spectrum’s Hume Community Hub Project is a prime example of how Spectrum works to increase community participation and to help newly arrived people understand the many supports that are available. The Project is based in the northern Melbourne region: Dallas, Broadmeadows, Campbellfield and Coolaroo. Under the Hume Community Hub Project, Spectrum facilitates events, groups and other projects for vulnerable locals in the Hume region to encourage collaboration and a greater level of understanding on the migrant journey within the community.

As part of the Hume Community Hub Project, the Djirang community garden aims to address social isolation by providing a warm and welcoming space for community members to share a common hobby. The keen gardeners are currently planting vegetables found in Syria to bring a small piece of home to life for newly arrived Syrian refugees.

Another aspect of Spectrum’s community involvement is the Refugee Action Program, which enables participants in the northern Melbourne region to develop community-owned projects in collaboration with the local council and service providers. There are a number of programs run by RAP that minimise social isolation within specific CALD communities and are listed on our Refugee Action Program page. If you’re interested in joining any of these programs or would like more information, please contact us.