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Refugee Council of Australia
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Latest News

Government removes Refugee Council's core funding

The Australian Government has completely cut core funding to RCOA despite allocating $140,000 just two weeks ago in its 2014-15 Budget. Read more here.

Child asylum seekers locked up at higher rate than adults

Child asylum seekers are more likely than their adult counterparts to be held in Australia in a locked detention facility than in community alternatives. Read more here.

Australia's answers on return of asylum seekers to Sri Lanka unsatisfactory

RCOA has demanded Australia explain what has happened to 41 asylum seekers returned to Sri Lanka and what guarantees were given about their safety. Read more here.

RCOA backs call for independent observer for screening process

RCOA has endorsed a call for an independent observer to be present during the interviews of asylum seekers under enhanced screening. Read more here.

Lives on the line under proposed changes to Migration Act

RCOA has expressed alarm at proposed changes to the Migration Act 1958 which will significantly increase the risk of people being returned to danger. Read our media release.

UN High Commissioner criticises Australia's 'strange' obsession with boats

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has described as "very strange" Australia's obsession with deterring asylum seekers who arrive by boat. Read more here.

Cambodian NGOs unite in opposition to Australia's refugee deal

RCOA has welcomed a joint statement issued by a coalition of 21 Cambodian NGOs who oppose the planned refugee resettlement deal between Cambodia and Australia. Read more here.

Running an asylum policy on cruelty leads to deadly consequences

RCOA President Phil Glendenning fears a repeat of the tragic self-immolation of a Tamil asylum seeker in Melbourne unless Australia abandoned its cruel and punitive policy approach. Read more here.

Refugee review changes a matter of life and death for asylum seekers

Proposed legislation aimed at fast-tracking refugee claims will take legal resources away from asylum seekers and hand them to the Australian Government, increasing the risk of vulnerable people being sent back to danger. Read more here.

Critical questions about Manus Island violence remain unanswered

The Australian Government's explanation for February's violence on Manus Island is inadequate and leaves critical questions unanswered. Read more here.

Federal Budget summary 2014-15

RCOA has released a summary of refugee-related spending in the 2014-15 Federal Budget. Read more here.

Detention centre closures must be accompanied by community alternatives

RCOA has welcomed plans to close six immigration detention centres but called for greater use of community arrangements for more than 3000 asylum seekers in detention. Read more here.

Former refugees fear racism, abuse if Racial Discrimination Act is weakened

Australians of refugee background have told RCOA of their fears of an increase in racism and abuse as a result of the political debate on plans to weaken provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act. Read more here.

Enough is Enough: It's time for a new approach

On the first anniversary of the report on the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, 64 Australian NGOs have called for a new approach to refugee and asylum policy that delivers protection to refugees. Read more here.

 

'Here in Australia I am able to dream.'

Anisa and her family faced daily discrimination in Iran due to their religious beliefs. They were resettled in Australia in 2002.

Read more about: Anisa's story

 

Welcome

The role of the Australian Refugee Foundation is to support the work of the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), ensuring that Australia continues to have an independent voice on issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers. RCOA was formed in 1981 as the national umbrella body for organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers. Since then, its network has grown to more than 160 organisational members, 700 individual members and thousands of supporters. RCOA works with its network on research, policy development, support to member organisations and refugee communities and public education on refugee issues.

Given the important nature of RCOA’s work, it is vital that the organisation has an independent source of funds. In 1997, RCOA developed the Australian Refugee Foundation to provide the funds needed to ensure that RCOA can continue as a strong and independent voice on issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers, regardless of changes in funding from external sources.

The Foundation is a managed by a Board of Trustees, three of whom are current members of the RCOA Board. The President of RCOA is the Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
This website includes information about the Foundation and its Patrons and Trustees, as well as events organised by the Foundation in honour of the late Dr Ken Rivett, a Trustee from 1997 to 2004.

For more information about supporting the work of the Refugee Council of Australia through the Australian Refugee Foundation, see the How you can help page