Our staff are dedicated to making refugees feel welcome and included by supporting new families, couples and individuals to build a life and home in Bendigo.
Getting assistance - contact
To get more information on our refugee services call our
Address: 171 Hargreaves Street, Bendigo
Phone: 5448 1600
Hours: 9am and 5pm from Monday to Friday
Ask for: a member of the settlement services team
How do you help refugees?
There are four elements to our service designed to help refugees understand and navigate their new life in Australia and Bendigo. The four elements are:
- Humanitarian Settlement Service
- Settlement Services Program
- Complex Case Services
- Refugee Action Program
The Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS) program provides early practical support to humanitarian entrants on arrival and through the initial settlement period of six to 12 months.
The Settlement Services Program assists eligible clients to become self-reliant and participate equitably in Australian society as soon as possible after arrival.
The Complex Case Support Program (CCS) delivers intensive case management services to eligible humanitarian entrants with exceptional needs which extend beyond the scope of our other settlement services.
The program is assessed on an 'as needs' basis and refugees must meet program criteria. CCS is available to the following visa holders:
- Refugee category visas (subclass 200,201, 203 and 204)
- Special Humanitarian Program visa (subclass 202)
- Protection visa (subclass 866)
- Temporary Protection visa (subclass 785)
- Temporary Humanitarian Stay visa (subclass 449)
- Temporary Humanitarian Concern visa (subclass 786)
- Safe Haven Enterprise visa (subclass 790)
Holders of these visas may be eligible for services for up to five years after their arrival in Australia or five years after the grant of their onshore visa. In exceptional circumstances other visa sub-classes may receive the services and the five-year eligibility timeframe may be extended.
The Refugee Action Program works to empower communities from a refugee background to achieve sustainable settlement outcomes in local communities. The program empowers communities from a refugee and humanitarian background to:
- Fully engage with their local communities.
- Access existing services.
- Identify local issues and concerns.
- Plan tailored, community-owned responses.
- Enhance local capacity and improve settlement outcomes.
What is the cost of your refugee services?
All services are delivered free of charge.
Can you organise an interpreter?
Ask for interpreter when you contact our settlement services team and we will assist you. Several members of our team are fluent in the Dhari and Karen languages.
Will the information I tell you be kept private?
Your confidentiality will be respected and is covered by privacy laws.
How do you help young refugees to learn English?
We are very proud of our after-school Homework Club. This program engages volunteers to run activities to boost the reading, writing and English-speaking skills of refugee children.
If you are interested in volunteering or supporting our Homework Club please call our Bendigo site on 5448 1600 and ask for a settlement services team member.
Do you need any accommodation for refugee families?
Our settlement services team is regularly looking for rental accommodation for refugee families and individuals. If you work for a real estate agent who has a home for rent that could be suitable please call our Bendigo site and ask for a member of the settlement services team today.
What if someone in my family or even me gets sick?
Our Refugee Health Nurse Service is designed to support people of refugee background to improve their health and wellbeing. Our nurse works closely with consumers to assess their health needs and support them to access primary and community health services across the City of Greater Bendigo.
Our refugee health nurse provides health assessments, support, advocacy and education to newly-arrived refugees in Bendigo.
This service is available from our Eaglehawk site each Tuesday and Friday from 9am to 4.30pm. Book an appointment by calling 5434 4300.
No referral is needed for the service.
If you will need help with an interpreter during an appointment please ask our friendly staff when making a booking.
Our Men’s Health Clinic helps men to better understand and manage their own health needs. Some of the services provided are annual check-ups, health assessments, information and support. The Men’s Health Clinic operates each Tuesday from 1pm to 7.30pm at our Eaglehawk site, 3 Seymoure Street.
The clinic is staffed by a men’s health male nurse practitioner. The Men’s Health Clinic is bulk billed and bookings are essential. The clinic also operates from our Bendigo central site each Wednesday from 3pm to 5pm and from the Charleston Road TAFE campus each Wednesday morning. Book an appointment at our Men’s Health Clinic on 5434 4300.
Our Women’s Health Clinic runs from the Bendigo and Eaglehawk sites. The clinic supports a range of women’s health issues such as sexual and contraceptive health, menopause, pregnancy testing, pap screening and breast checks.
The clinic operates Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm with a female general practitioner and nurses. The clinic is open to all ages. There may be a minimal cost. Phone 5448 1600 (Bendigo) or 5434 4300 (Eaglehawk) to book an appointment.
We offer a full medical practice for all your GP needs at our Bendigo, Eaglehawk and Kangaroo Flat sites. Our GPs can assist with all your medical needs. Phone 5434 4300 (Eaglehawk), 5448 1600 (Bendigo) or 5430 0500 (Kangaroo Flat) to book an appointment.
Do you offer help if alcohol or drugs become a problem?
We know alcohol, illicit or prescription drug addiction can be a harrowing experience.
We provide psychological support for individuals, families or partners affected by alcohol and other drug use through our specialised and generalist counselling programs at our Kangaroo Flat, Eaglehawk and Bendigo sites.
Youth-specific counselling is also provided by BCHS and headspace Bendigo.
Our alcohol and other drugs services also include home-based and residential withdrawl programs, Pharmacotherapy Service and Needle Syringe Program. Please call any of our sites listed below to get more information on these services.
I’m a teacher and have a concern with a refugee student
Our settlement services staff regularly work with schools and teachers in the Bendigo area to ensure refugee students receive the best education possible. Call our Bendigo site on 5448 1600 and ask for a settlement services team member.
Do you ever need donations for refugees?
Absolutely – many refugees arrive in Bendigo with very little.
One of the things we always need for our refugees is blankets, beanies, gloves and scarfs. Many refugee families come from very warm homelands and find themselves arriving in Australia in colder months.
We also prepare welcome packs for the refugees which have basic materials in them to make their first few days in Bendigo more comfortable.
- One of the other things we use is wallets and purses.
- School uniforms and backpacks for the young children is another need.
- Many children have never owned a soccer ball or any other piece of sporting equipment.
If you can help by donating goods for our refugees please call our Bendigo site on 5448 1600 and ask for a settlement services team member.
Your kindness will change a life!