Working with Emerging and Refugee Communities
In recent years Australia has accepted migrants and refugees from a wider range of countries than ever before. When they settle in Australia they face a number of barriers, from discrimination and uncertainty in the housing market, to difficulty having their overseas skills and work experience recognised. At the same time, given their small numbers and short length of residence in Australia, they do not have the support of an established community of people from their own ethnic background.
Ethnic community broadcasting is now a well-established feature of most community radio stations. While most older and more established ethnic communities have radio programs and even newspapers, smaller and more recently arrived communities are not so well represented in the community broadcasting sector.
The following information is designed to assist stations that are interested in developing radio programs with smaller, emerging ethnic communities including refugee groups in their broadcast area.
What is meant by “New and Emerging Ethnic Communities”?
A “new and emerging community” is any ethnic community that has experienced a significant percentage increase in the number of people arriving in Australia in the past fifteen years. These communities are relatively small and may experience one of the following: high levels of unemployment, English language barriers, low-income status or other social factors that could be defined as special needs.
More recently-arrived communities lack resources and have not established regular media in their own language.
To find out if your community or language group is eligible to receive radio start-up funding from the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF), see the list of new and emerging communities.
In recent decades the influx of refugees into Australia has received wide media coverage. For many refugee communities there are very few people from their home country already in Australia (e.g. Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, etc.) and often there are no radio programs in their first language. While some refugees arriving in Australia may already have access to media in their own language (e.g. Iraqi and Iranian refugees), these radio programs often do not address the special needs of refugees arriving under the humanitarian program. For this reason it is important to see refugee communities as new and emerging communities with special needs regardless of their language group.