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YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW By: Lucy Howard-Robbins Do you want to help refugees and asylum seekers in Melbourne? For those of us eager to make a difference, it can be difficult to know where to start. Most students and young professionals struggle to spare monetary donations for organisations and projects which help refugees and asylum seekers. But you may have something equally as valuable as money – your time. Here is a list of Melbourne based organisations that offer vital support services to refugees and asylum seekers and information on how you could contribute to the wonderful work that they do.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

Asylum Seeker Welcome Centre

Location: West Melbourne and Dandenong

Location: Brunswick

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre is Australia’s largest asylum seeker organisation and has nearly 750 volunteers delivering services to over 1,200 asylum seekers. Their works encompasses material aid, health, legal, counselling, casework and a foodbank.

The ASWC is a community centre ; volunteers can support the organisation through participation in events and excursions, administration tasks, fundraising events and projects, computer and network maintenance, office repairs and community development.

Their next volunteer information session will be held on Tuesday 29 April 2014.

For more information visit au/how-you-can-help-asylum-seekers/become-a-volunteer/

Click here for more details on how to become a volunteer with the ASRC:

Centre for Multicultural Youth

Click here to donate funds: asrcgeneralappeal

Location: Carlton The CMY advocates for the needs of young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds and looks for volunteers to provide extra learning support to students in homework clubs around Melbourne.

RISE: Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees Location: Melbourne CBD

For more information, contact the Volunteer Recruitment Officer on (03) 9340 3702 or or visit

RISE is the first refugee and asylum seeker welfare and advocacy organisation in Australia to be run by refugees, asylum seekers and ex-detainees. The association enables refugees and asylum seekers to build new lives by providing advice, engaging in community development, enhancing opportunities and campaigning for refugee rights.

The Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre Location: Dandenong and Narre Warren

RISE relies on volunteers and donations to deliver services to the least supported members of our society.

The SMRC provides services to migrants and refugees including aged care, refugee settlement services, family services, youth services, community development projects and skilled migrant employment services.

RISE currently has three volunteer positions available – 1 in Web Design and 2 in Grant Writing. For more information or to check for new availabilities click here:

Volunteers are needed in social support, homework support and driver education programs.

You can also join the RISE mailing list to keep up to date with news and events by emailing

For more information visit

AMES Location: Services offered at Box Hill, Broadmeadows, Coburg, Dallas, Dandenong, Melbourne CBD, Footscray, Frankston, Glenroy, Maidstone, Noble Park, Oakleigh, Preston, Ringwood, Springvale, St Albans, Sunbury, Sunshine, and Werribee.


AMES is a group of organisations which assist newly arrived humanitarian entrants to successfully settle in Victoria. AMES not only works with new arrivals but also with communities, businesses and local government to develop sustainable and effective settlement solutions. Volunteers provide practical settlement support and English tutoring. For more information visit


Profile for AM-UNITY Magazine

Edition 2  

This edition of AM-UNITY Magazine sees a focus on Refugee/Asylum Seeker Rights, Afghan Women’s Rights and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgende...

Edition 2  

This edition of AM-UNITY Magazine sees a focus on Refugee/Asylum Seeker Rights, Afghan Women’s Rights and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgende...