Element 1.3

Recognise the impact of the refugee experience on settlement in Australia


Facilitation Notes


This Element is designed to look at the differences in lifestyle between a refugee's country of origin, country of asylum and Australia. It aims to highlight some of the differences and similarities that there can be between these countries, and how these experiences can impact on the lives and settlement of refugees newly arrived in Australia. Many of the experiences that we have as both children and adults can have lasting effects on how we handle new and stressful situations. Migration is one such stressful situation.

Previous Knowledge

None required, however, this module builds on Element 1.1 and you may find some of the material under this previous section helpful. This element, along with Element 1.4, is considered essential for the development of core competencies.

Range statement

  • Participants will ‘recognise' the impact of the refugee experience using a strengths based approach which emphasises the skills refugees possess.
  • The ‘refugee experience' may include a country of origin, a country of first asylum and a host country. Refugees encounter positive and negative experiences in each of these settings.
  • The ‘refugee experience' is broader than the personal day to day life of the refugee and also needs to consider the political situation in countries of origin, refugee camps, and the impact of Australian migration policy.
  • The ‘refugee experience' does not terminate on settlement in Australia. There are differences in economic systems, education and employment. New arrivals also experience social issues on settlement.

Performance Criteria

Participants will be able to:

  • Reflect on their own attitudes and perceptions of Australia and how others may see it.
  • Identify some of their own connections and interactions with other people in their community and the ways in which an individual is influenced by the ‘circles' around them.
  • Discuss how much Australians tend to take for granted in relation to politics and decision making.
  • Explain ways in which our own culture and experience affects our understanding of rules and behaviour, and how we adapt or otherwise to unfamiliar situations.
  • Describe some experiences of refugees' journeys to Australia
  • Identify some of the strengths that life experiences can give to people.
  • Link the effect of refugees' previous experience on their ability to manage the economic system in Australia.
  • Link the impacts of previous experience on educational outcomes for a young person.
  • Analyse services to identify some ways in which they might be modified in order to support access by refugees

Torture and Trauma Agencies in each state and territory provide regular training programs for service providers. It is recommended that you contact your state/territory agency to discuss your training needs in relation to this element.

Contact details for each agency are below:

Agency Contact Details