Legal service takes on migrant support
■ Lost Federal funding to help migrants to the Pilbara and Goldfields adjust to Australian life has been redirected.
Pilbara Community Legal Service last week signed a deal with the Department of Social Services to provide migrant settlement services in the two regions from tomorrow until June 30, 2017.
The $450,000 in funding had been awarded to Frontier Services, but a restructuring of the national charity to transition out of Government-funded programs meant three migrant workers in Karratha, Port Hedland and Kalgoorlie-Boulder lost their jobs.
The service, which aims to assist newcomers to become selfreliant and participate in Australian society as soon as possible, ceased in Kalgoorlie-Boulder in February and in June in Karratha and Hedland.
PCLS chief executive Nanette Williams said when Frontier Services’ migrant settlement program wrapped up, the service was approached by its former clientele.
“People came in and we embraced them,” she said.
“Many had issues we could assist with, but now we officially have employees who can concentrate on them.
“It’s exciting for us because it gives us an opportunity to extend what we’ve been doing and get more involved in the migrant community.”
Mrs Williams said the organisation would be able to individualise each case and draw on other PCLS services to get the best outcomes.
While two migrant workers are ready to start work in Karratha and Port Hedland, the PCLS will sub-contract the Kalgoorlie-Boulder position to the Goldfields Community Legal Centre.
According to 2011 Census data, nearly 20 per cent of Pilbarians were born overseas.
Of the 34 nationalities represented, most are from New Zealand, the UK, the Philippines, South Africa, India, China, Ireland, Thailand and Malaysia.
The PCLS has been around for 23 years and has 25 staff working across the Pilbara in Karratha, Roebourne, South Hedland and Newman.