Second Council on Economic Participation for Refugees meeting



The Second Council on Economic Participation for Refugees meeting was held in Fairfield, NSW. Fairfield is a primary settlement location for a large number of refugees each year and is home to a significant number of services and initiatives which aim to help refugees settle quickly and integrate fully into Australian life. 

We were pleased to hold our second Council meeting in Fairfield with the help of the Fairfield City Council and local service providers.

The objectives of Second Council on Economic Participation for Refugees meeting were to:

  • Develop a more detailed vision for a place-based approach to refugee settlement and economic participation
  • Explore how the review of Australian employment services might result in new approaches to better support refugee job seekers, including through the use of place-based approaches
  • Hear from a number of leading Australian employers as to how they are approaching the recruitment and retention of refugee job seekers
  • Understand the additional challenges often faced by refugee women with respect to economic participation and how these might be overcome
Second Council on Economic Participation for Refugees meeting

Key documents from Second Council on Economic Participation for Refugees meeting


Alice Ling – Assistant Secretary, Policy Group, Department of Home Affairs

Angela Tidmarsh – Director of Adult Migrant English Program, Department of Education and Training

Brad Cutts – Director, Fairfield City Council 

George Osborne – Manager Economic Development, Hume City Council

Julie Andrews – Coordinator Community Capacity Building, Hume City Council

Hakan Akyol – Director, Community Participation, Victorian Department of Premier & Cabinet

Katie Baird – Senior Project Officer Partnerships, NSW Department of Industry

Katrina Currie – Executive Director – Employment Outcomes, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

Jenny McMahon – Director City Life, Wyndham City Council 

Sharon Bailey – Group Manager, Families and Communities, Department of Social Services

Nicholas Dowie – Branch Manager, Department of Jobs and Small Business 

Matthew Roper – Assistant Secretary, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Sandra McPhee AM – Chair, Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel

Simon Overland – CEO, Whittlesea Council

Susan Gibbeson – Manager, Social Development, Fairfield City Council

Susan Law – CEO, Armidale Regional Council

Service Providers

Andre Diez de Aux – Director – Quality Services, TAFE Directors Australia

Cath Scarth – CEO, AMES

Hussain Razaiat – Manager, Middle Eastern Communities Council of South Australia

Hutch Hussein – Senior Manager – Refugees, Immigration & Multiculturalism, Brotherhood of St Laurence

Kerrin Benson – CEO, Multicultural Development Association

Paris Aristotle AO – CEO/Manager (Research & Policy), Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture

Josef Szwarc – Chair, Ministerial Advisory Council on Settlement Services

Sonja Hood – CEO, Community Hubs Australia

Stephanie Cousins – Australian Director, Talent Beyond Boundaries

Terry Wilson – Manager, Employment and Enterprise Services, Settlement Services International

Violet Roumeliotis GAICD – CEO, Settlement Services International 


Andrew Kaldor AM – Chair, Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

Charis Martin-Ross – Head of Diversity and Sustainability, Allianz

Jock Collins – Professor of Social Economics, UTS Business School

Larry Kamener – Senior Partner & Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

Leigh Hardingham – Social Inclusion and Procurement, West Gate Tunnel Project

Mark Watters – Partner & Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

Nick Tebbey – CEO, Settlement Council of Australia

Paul Crossley – Government Relations Manager, Woolworths Group

Paul Power – CEO, Refugee Council of Australia

Peter Shergold AC (attending dinner) – Chancellor, Western Sydney University NSW Coordinator General for Refugee Resettlement

Philippe Legrain – Founder, Open Political Economy Network Former Economic Advisor to the President of the European Commission

Selena Choo – National Manager, Friendly Nation Initiative

Terry Moran AC – Chair, Centre for Policy Development

Travers McLeod – CEO, Centre for Policy Development