Refugee and humanitarian

In 2018, Refugee Week is celebrated from 17 to 23 June.

Refugee Week is an opportunity to recognise Australia’s Humanitarian Program and the contributions that humanitarian entrants make to Australia. Refugee Week coincides with United Nations World Refugee Day on 20 June 2018.

This year our theme to celebrate Australia’s Humanitarian Program is refugee entrepreneurship and regional employment. Refugees come to Australia with diverse cultures, skills and talents. Many demonstrate commitment to their new life in Australia by seeking out education, employment and business opportunities as well as contributing to their local communities.

Australia’s Humanitarian Program

Australia’s Humanitarian Program provides resettlement for people who have suffered persecution or substantial discrimination amounting to gross violation of their human rights. Since the end of World War II Australia has resettled more than 880,000 refugees and people in humanitarian need.

Australia consistently ranks as one of the top three refugee resettlement countries each year, along with the United States and Canada.

Resettlement under the Humanitarian Program

The 2017-18 Humanitarian Program includes 16,250 places, an increase from 13,750 places in 2016-17, and will include up to 1000 places for a Community Support Program. The Humanitarian Program is set to further increase to 18,750 places in 2018-19.

Australia’s Humanitarian Program is designed primarily to assist people who have fled their home country because of persecution or serious human rights abuses and who have no options for return or alternative resettlement destinations. In recent years, Australia has resettled refugees from the Middle East, Asia and Africa from a broad range of countries, including Syria and Iraq, Bhutan, Myanmar, Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Government ensures that support services are available to humanitarian entrants to assist them to settle successfully. The aim of these settlement services is to enable the participation of new arrivals as quickly and as fully as possible in Australian society and economy.

You can find out how the Australian Government supports refugees by visiting our Refugee and Humanitarian webpage.


Celebrate Refugee week at your workplace or community organisation. Download our posters to get things started.


Bo Remenyi
Thumbnail picture of Bo RemenyiFrom a Hungarian refugee to a world renowned leader in paediatric cardiology, Dr Bo Remenyi has certainly succeeded in the face of adversity.
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Kaw Doh Htoo
Thumbnail picture of Kew Doh HtooKaw Doh fled a civil war in Myanmar and spent many years moving from town to town, Kaw Doh never expected he would be running his own grocery store in regional Australia.
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Oula Nader
Thumbnail picture of Oula NaderI hope to have my overseas qualifications recognised in Australia and am thinking about applying to do my PhD.
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Samer Sirri
Thumbnail picture of Samer SiriOnce we got the good news I started to prepare for my medical exam in Australia.
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Bashar Giliana
Thumbnail picture of Basher GilianaWe were forced to give up a life in a country we loved, our business and our beautiful home because we knew our safety and my children’s future was priority.
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Annie Nkiere
Thumbnail picture of Annie NkiereAs a Community Development Program Family Support Worker I get to help other refugees settle into their new lives in Australia.
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Awkar Ruel
Thumbnail picture of Awker RuelAs a child I thought I’d always be a civil engineer, but in Year 11 I changed my mind and was drawn to architecture. I'm now working in an architectural firm in Australia.
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Daniel Mubake
Thumbnail picture of Daniel MubakeWhen my mother graduated from university with a Nursing degree in Australia, it made me believe that anything is possible.
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Maxeem Georges
Thumbnail picture of Maxeem GeorgesThanks to Settlement Services International, I was able to use my accounting skills and was offered a job with Alliance Insurance.
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