Written by Gareth Priday
The Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) project is about understanding and facilitating secondary migration in Australia’s Wimmera Southern Mallee region. This initiative targets individuals migrating from metropolitan areas like Melbourne, focusing on their experiences, motivations, and challenges.
Key Drivers of Migration
Primary motivation for moving to the region is work, offering opportunities yet presenting challenges such as limited career advancement and instances of racism. These negative experiences often lead to migration away from the region. Additionally, family considerations, particularly related to children’s education, significantly influence decisions to leave.
Strategies for Settlement and Community Integration
To encourage longer settlement and address resource drains on local services, the project advocates for:
- Providing strong settlement service support.
- Offering English language courses.
- Addressing social isolation and culture shock.
- Tackling work environment challenges and visa complexities.
- Improving accommodation and job opportunities.
- Facilitating connections with community groups.
This approach aims for a more focused and effective support system for fewer targeted migrant communities, influencing broader migration strategies and potentially impacting the PALM scheme and primary migration policies.
Secondary Outcomes and Ongoing Impact
The project has led to several new initiatives such as the organisation of a Filipino/Employer conference and Filipino leadership training programs. These initiatives deepen the connection between employers, settlement services, and key organisations like real estate agencies, hospitals, and councils. Strengthening these networks is crucial for creating a welcoming and sustainable migration pathway in the Wimmera Southern Mallee, aligning with the region’s goal to increase its population by 7,000.