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Latest News

End to resettlement from Indonesia adds insult to injury

Australia's refusal to resettle refugees who sought protection in Indonesia after June 2014 will cement Australia's reputation as a bad neighbour. Read more here.

Temporary Protection Visas will separate families indefinitely

RCOA has highlighted the devastating impact of the Australian Government's proposed Temporary Protection Visas in forcing the indefinite separation of families. Read more here.

Australia must stop returns following torture of asylum seeker

RCOA president Phil Glendenning has again pleaded with the Department of Immigration to halt forcible returns of asylum seekers to Afghanistan. Read more here.

Australia condemned as nations focus on global refugee crisis

NGOs working with displaced people around the world have singled out Australia for strong criticism as senior officials of governments and the UNHCR met to discuss responses to the largest displacement crisis in more than 65 years. Read more here.

Governments challenged to end neglect of African crises

Delegates from 94 nations including Australia have been challenged to end the global neglect of Africa's 15 million displaced people. Read more here.

Internal investigation inadequate response to sexual assault allegation

The Australian Government's response to serious allegations of sexual assault in immigration detention must be reviewed by an independent body. Read more here.

Australia urged to take more constructive response to global refugee crises

The crises in Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic and South Sudan and efforts to eliminate statelessness will dominate discussions at a key UNHCR meeting. Read more here.

New legislation strips away checks on Ministerial powers

The Federal Government's new legislation to change asylum and maritime powers laws is a comprehensive assault on Australia's obligations to protect victims of persecution. Read more here.

Punishment not protection for refugees sent to Cambodia

The agreement to be signed this week between Australia and Cambodia to resettle refugees from Nauru will leave refugees at further risk. Read more here.

Australia ignores UN call for action on statelessness

As the world commemorates the 60th anniversary of the 1954 Statelessness Convention, stateless people in Australia have little to celebrate. Read more here.

Refugee Welcome Zone initiative reaches its century

RCOA's Refugee Welcome Zone initiative has reached a milestone with more than 100 councils signing on. Read more here.

National Party's call for more refugee places a positive step

RCOA has backed calls by the Government's Coalition partner the National Party for an expanded Refugee and Humanitarian Program. Read more here.

Australian Parliament must reject cruel Temporary Protection Visas

RCOA has written to Federal cross-bench parliamentarians, urging them to reject the Abbott Government's renewed push to force refugees on to Temporary Protection Visas. Read more here.

Australia must step up to support Syrian refugees

News that the number of Syrian refugees has passed three million confirms that Australia's decision to cut its refugee program could not have come at a worse time, says RCOA. Read more here.

Grave fears for asylum seeker forcibly returned to Afghanistan

News that the Australian Government has forcibly repatriated an Afghan asylum seeker has been met with alarm by RCOA. Read more here.

No excuse for ongoing detention of children

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has failed to offer an adequate justification for the ongoing detention of children on Christmas Island and Nauru, says RCOA. Read more here.

Efforts to return Syrian refugees unconscionable

RCOA is alarmed by media reports that Syrian asylum seekers detained on Manus Island are being pressured by Australian Government officials to return home. Read more here.

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.

Federal Budget summary 2014-15

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



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