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: 165-171 Hargreaves Street, Bendigo
Phone: 5406 1200
Hours: 9am and 5pm from Monday to Friday
Ask for: a member of the settlement services team
How do you help refugees?
The Humanitarium Settlement Program (HSP) is a national program funded by the Australian Government to help refugees to establish themselves when they first arrive in Australia.
The program will assist clients to build the skills and knowledge they need to become self-reliant and active members of our society, through a needs-based, case management approach.
HSP service providers work with clients to identify their needs and goals and develop an individual case management plan. Service providers support clients to achieve outcomes in:
- Physical and mental health and well-being
- Managing money
- Community participation and networking
- Family functioning and social support
- Language services
- Education and training
HSP clients are tiered according to their level of need and complexity of their circumstances. Tier 3 clients receive specialised and intensive services.
Orientation is a key component of the HSP consisting of core topics. These topics provide clients with the basic skills and knowledge that will allow them to independently access services, participate fully in the social and economic life of Australia, and continue their settlement journey beyond the HSP.
The program is assessed on an 'as needs' basis and refugees must meet program criteria:
- 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.
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 5406 1200.
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 5406 1200.
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 5406 1200 to book an appointment.
We offer a full bulk-billed 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 us on 5406 1200 to book an appointment or go to www.bchs.com.au and use the appointment bar at the top of the homepage.
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 5406 1200 and ask for a settlement services team member.
I would like to learn more about refugees. Can you help?
Our Community Harmony Program delivers workshops to educate the community on the refugee experience.
Our Understanding The Refugee Journey workshop looks at what the term 'refugee' actually means with a focus on their life experiences before coming to Australia, what takes place before arriving in Bendigo, the support our Settlement Services team provides after arrival, the value of co-designing programs using our own staff of refugee background who have an intimate knowledge of the journey impacts, challenges and opportunities and language support.
We also offer an 'Understanding Islam and Muslims in Australia' and 'Understanding Karen Culture' workshops. To learn more click on this link: http://bit.ly/TheRefugeeJourney
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 5406 1200 and ask for a settlement services team member.
Your kindness will change a life!
Page last updated: September 2019.