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Catholic social services make a substantial contribution to the social fabric of Victoria. Services range from alcohol treatment, crisis housing, Indigenous ministry and prison ministry, to the protection of women and children escaping family violence, refugees and asylum seekers and those impacted by human trafficking. More than 200,000 people were supported by Catholic social service organisations during 2016-2017, with the total number of occasions of support being in excess of 400,000. The total expenditure in assisting these people was more than $700 million and included 6800 employed staff and at least 17,600 volunteers.
Today, more than ever, we need a global movement to demand that the safety and rights of refugees are protected. Refugee Week 2018, from Sunday 17 June to Saturday 23 June, is Australia’s peak annual activity to inform the public about refugees and celebrate positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society. It coincides with World Refugee Day on Wednesday 20 June.

“Our sense is that everyone is vulnerable, but at the moment the more acute presentations are the Let Them Stay cohort,” says Dr Tram Nguyen, medical director of specialist mental health services at Melbourne’s Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub. This comes in the aftermath of the Federal government's decision to end Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) for several thousand asylum seekers on bridging visas, which came into effect in 2018.

As part of our Welcome the Asylum Seeker Parish Support Program, Catholic Social Services Victoria is hosting a forum for parishes, 'Helping our Refugee Families and Friends' on Saturday 25 August, at the Cardinal Knox Centre, 383 Albert Street, East Melbourne, from 9.30am - 12.45pm. For more information, contact Adrian Foley: adrian.foley@css.org.au

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Catholic Social Services Victoria acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Elders in each of the Communities where we work.
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