2. Regionalizing Refugee Immigration in Australia
2.1. Refugee Dispersal
2.2. Refugee Entitlements
3. Methods and Study Participants
4. Experiences of Regional Resettlement
4.1. Employment: Quality and Quantity
The orchardists do abuse the Arabic workers because they are literally saying to them ‘you work for $10 cash in hand or you have no job’. Now, they can’t do that with the Australian workers, you know they have to pay them whatever the going rate is. But these people are equally entitled to earn a proper hourly rate, to have superannuation or sick leave.
They have come up here and they have got the housing but not the work, and so that causes bitterness and discontent in the wider community, because, once again, you have got the Australian people sitting there going, great, nobody gave me a helping hand.
We haven’t been welcomed in this town, you know. A couple of things have happen—the window was broken and we were burgled and people pass through and drop cigarette butts inside the shop. This is very sad, you know, the door is open and when they pass they just flick the cigarette in the shop.
4.3. Access to Services
We have outreach posts, but we don’t have a Centrelink officer. So if you have problems with Centrelink, you have to go to the next largest town. Same with specialists: from mental health, to gynaecologists to opthamologists, you can’t get those sort of services here.
The problem is if we have a health problem or if we need an operation we have to go to Melbourne. In Melbourne you can find the doctors all around you at the hospital, in Taraville this is not the case. In Melbourne, most of the doctors use Medicare ‘bulk billing’, which covers the costs, but here sometimes no, like the dentist is too expensive in Taraville.Do you get your teeth seen regularly?If I have a problem, if I have pain in my teeth, then I go to the dentist.But what about check ups?We have no check-ups in our diary; only when we have a problem we go.
4.4. Mental Health
Here it is more [depression], I think. I know friends, they are sick, Iraqi people, they are sick. They didn’t have this when they were in Iraq, but when they came to Australia they have this thing. They are always desperate, miserable and nervous. They are lonely in Australia; they don’t go out a lot and mix with other people.
It is a problem with every depressed lady, doing something about it, there are no options in Taraville. We got to the stage that we would send people to a counselor and she would do an initial counseling session and then she would say, ‘there is an 18 months waiting list’, and that wasn’t her fault either. But when someone has actually made the effort when they are depressed to go and see a counselor then that does nothing for their confidence in the system and that someone is going to help them. Then we have the mental health team, and the mental health team has got very strict criteria, and if they don’t fit into those criteria, they say ‘No we can’t see them’. Then you think—what am I going to do with them? To me, that’s not a very good service, because you’re not helping them, you are actually making it worse.
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