Settlement Services Program (SSP) – Volunteer Home Visiting Program

Women’s Health in the South East (WHISE) has been providing settlement services to refugee and migrant women since 2010 with the start of the Settlement Services Program (SSP), funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS) to assist newly arrived and refugee women.

On 31 December, the Settlement Services Program – run by WHISE for 11 years – will close.  WHISE will continue to run its programs and services to prevent violence against women, improve sexual and reproductive health and create a gender equitable society, however, the settlement program (including the WHISE volunteer home visitation program) will cease.

The last working day of the program will be Thursday 20 December.   

“The refugees that WHISE has supported for over a decade have been inspirational to WHISE Settlement staff and volunteers. Their ability to overcome a diverse range of challenges including cultural, personal and structural barriers to social and economic participation in a new country, not to mention the mental, emotional and physical stresses and strains they have had to contend with has been a source of admiration and awe,” says Joy Walker, Chair of the Board.

“WHISE has been proud to work with our volunteers - some of the most generous and committed women – who were trained to visit women refugees in their homes,” says Kit McMahon, CEO of WHISE. 

“They have been the mainstay of the program.  They have assisted many vulnerable and traumatised women and their families to find their feet and grow. Participants in this program, from clients to volunteers, have benefited from a cultural exchange that has been both informative and enriching.  We are sad to see it come to an end.”

“Directors and Management of Women’s Health in the South East would like to formally thank all members of the WHISE team who have been instrumental in the success of our settlement program. Each and everyone has played a key role in ensuring its success. We know that what has been vital to this is the care and support they have provided for every one of the refugee women who reach out to WHISE for help,” says Ms Walker.

WHISE has arranged for the transition of the current settlement clients to providers of the new SETS program. These clients and any new refugees in the community seeking support are encouraged to contact:

Southern Migrant Refugee Centre -  39 Clow St, Dandenong VIC 3175  Phone: (03) 9767 1900

Catholic Care – Level 2 Princes Highway Dandenong 3175 – Ph – 8710 9600