The Migration Council Australia was officially launched today, bringing together corporate Australia and the settlement sector to enhance the productive benefits of Australia’s migration and humanitarian programs.
The Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, will today officially mark the launch with a function at Government House. The new Council will build partnerships between corporate Australia and the community to promote best practice in migration and settlement support.
The Council will be Chaired by Peter Scanlon, Chair of the Taverners Group and the Scanlon Foundation, and will provide a national voice to advocate for effective settlement and migration programs.
“These are programs which have sustained Australia’s population and propelled our economy. They recognize that to maximise the benefit to Australia, the migration process does not stop on arrival” Mr Scanlon said.
“While Australia has robust migration practices, the nature of Australia’s migration has changed substantially. Unfortunately our settlement services have not been resourced sufficiently to keep up with these changes.
“If Australia does not prioritise investing in migrants when they first arrive, the productivity gains of our migration program will never be fully realized and we risk the cohesiveness of our society”.
Chief Executive Officer of the MCA, Carla Wilshire, said the Council will support the growth of a sustainable settlement infrastructure to ensure Australia remains a successful migration nation.
“Australia’s future prosperity is dependent on the continued success of our migration program, on attracting people and harnessing their abilities. It is reliant on ongoing public and political support for migration,” Ms Wilshire said.
“The migration program is a key economic driver, calibrated to fill Australia’s skills shortages and balance our ageing workforce. ￼ “Effective settlement services convert the potential benefits of migration into actual gains, ensuring the productive participation of new arrivals.”
“Without adequate support services, Australia will lose the full potential of each generation of new migrants as their skills languish and remain untapped.”
The MCA’s charter will be to:
- advance activities and policies which maximise the benefits to the public of Australia’s migration and humanitarian programs;
- promote greater understanding of migration and settlement;
- contribute to the process of public policy making and encourage the development of support services for new arrivals;
- identify and promote best practice and lead discussion on migration and settlement;
- consult, facilitate research, and disseminate information on issues relevant to migration and settlement; and
- engage to build partnerships between corporate Australia, the community sector and Government.
The Council sees assistance for new migrants and refugees as an investment in the future of the Australian community, our economy and our prospective workforce.
The seven members of the MCA are:
- Peter Scanlon (Chair), Chair of the Taverners Group and the Scanlon Foundation
- Ahmed Fahour, Managing Director and CEO of Australia Post
- Carmel Guerra, CEO of the Centre for Multicultural Youth
- Gail Ker, CEO of ACCESS Services Logan
- Pino Migliorino, Managing Director of Cultural Perspectives and Chair of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia
- Cath Scarth, CEO of AMES Victoria
- Tony Shepherd, President of the Business Council of Australia, Chair of Transfield Services and Chair of the Greater Western Sydney GIANTS.
Media contact: Carla Wilshire on 0409 363 888