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Cities and Settlement


The Cities and Settlement Initiative (CSI) aims to improve the economic participation of refugees in Australia. Our analysis tells us this would deliver a triple dividend: benefiting vulnerable Australians; boosting the budget; and improving community cohesion. We seek better governance and coordination connected to partnerships and delivery at the local level. Our objectives include:

  • streamlining arrangements between federal, state and local governments;
  • developing place-based approaches to integrated service delivery that provides holistic support to the individual refugee and their family unit and improves economic participation
  • ensuring that work and English language education can be pursued in tandem
  • ensuring that the specific needs of refugee women are appropriately addressed
  • identifying best practice to be replicated and scaled; and
  • knitting more tightly together selected regional and capital cities and providers undertaking refugee settlement.

CSI is supported by the Myer Foundation and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and follows CPD’s February 2017 report, Settling Better: Reforming refugee employment and settlement services, released with the support of the Boston Consulting Group. Learn more about the initiative here.

Latest Articles


Second Meeting | Council on Economic Participation for Refugees | September 2018

Lisa Button - December 2018

Key documents: Agenda Participants list Briefing material Meeting summary The second meeting of the Council on Economic Participation for Refugees was held in Fairfield, NSW on 12/13 September 2018.  Fairfield...

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Council on Economic Participation for Refugees

Lisa Button - December 2018

On 22 February 2018, CPD convened the first meeting of the Council on Economic Participation for Refugees (the Council), hosted by the Boston Consulting Group in Melbourne. The Council is...

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Cities and Settlement Initiative

Travers McLeod - December 2018

In 2018 CPD launched our Cities and Settlement Initiative – a three-year program that aims to improve the economic participation of refugees in Australia. Below we chart the background, current...

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How to better help refugees and asylum seekers enter the workforce on Life Matters

communications - March 2018

Published on ABC’s RN Tuesday 12 December 2017 9:06AM (view full episode) Download audio  Imagine moving to a new country and having to learn from scratch the systems of society. But...

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There is plenty of evidence to suggest democracy is in trouble. In Australia, more people are losing trust in our public institutions and processes. Business and civil society are viewed mistrustfully as well.

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Australia faces growing inequity and disadvantage in our schools. Our education system is separating into a hierarchy of advantaged and over-funded schools at the top end, and disadvantaged, under-funded schools at the bottom.

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Fundamental to an active and effective government that is fit for purpose in the 21st century is strengthening the capabilities of our public sector.

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