DIAC meeting outcomes

Dear all,


This is to inform you all that I had a meeting session with DIAC (Department of Immigration and Citizenship) officials recently and pleased to impart some information’s to you to pass it on to your Community. I am not quite certain whether the majority of our Community is aware of all these various Government assistance and programs. Hence, I urge all the Associations to disseminate this information to your respective Community and to your friends too. 


I hope and believe these information’s may be found useful particularly to the new migrants.


As per the discussions, I was informed about three various programs the Department offers funding assistance. They are:


1) the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP),

2) the Settlement Grants Program (SGP) and the

3) Diversity and Social Cohesion Program (DSCP)


Adult Migrant English Program


As discussed, this program is run at CIT in Reid.  There are eligibility requirements for this program.  Eligible clients may receive up to 520 hours of free English tuition.


You can find information about the AMEP here:



Settlement Grants Program 


Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services (MARSS), Woden Community Services (WCS) and the Queanbeyan Multilingual

Centre (QMLC) offers these services.


As discussed, MARSS, Woden Community Services and QMLC are funded to deliver services to migrants and refugees under the Department’s Settlement Grants Program.


You can find information about the SGP here:


MARSS is located at 2nd floor, North Building, 180 London Circuit, CANBERRA CITY, ACT 2601


Woden Community Services is located at 26 Corinna Street, WODEN, ACT 2606


QMLC is located at 12 Rutledge Street, QUEANBEYAN, NSW 2620


I was also told, eligible clients may receive free driving licence lessons too. Please contact them for more information.


I will be having further talk with MARSS Program Manager and will provide you more information to that regard.


Diversity and Social Cohesion Program


The DSCP, incorporating the former Diverse Australia Program and the National Action Plan to Build on Social Cohesion, Harmony and Security community grants, provides the additional resources often needed by not-for-profit community organisations to develop their own projects and find their own ways of helping their community build stronger community relations.


The aim of DSCP funding is to: Promote respect, fairness and a sense of belonging for Australians of every race, culture and religion. This aim primarily focuses on promoting inter-community harmony and understanding.


Develop the community capacity building skills of specific community groups under significant pressure due to their cultural, religious or racial diversity. This aim primarily focuses on supporting specific communities with the purpose of building their social cohesion and/or to promote their positive contributions to Australia.


Community organisations can apply for funding of up to $50,000 to develop projects that aim to address issues of cultural, racial or religious intolerance or to develop community capacity building skills. Projects must provide an opportunity for participation and interaction by different members of the community.


All DSCP information, including application forms, can be found at




Also, the ‘Beginning a Life in Australia’ booklet produced by the Department is a really good resource for new migrants in your community. It is available from the internet, and can be downloaded in English, Hindi, Tamil and other languages:




Kind Regards,


Jacob Tharakan

President, FINACT.