The growth of regional settlement for people from humanitarian backgrounds presents particular challenges in service delivery. Lack of services, infrastructure and funding opportunities in regional areas often mean that those who settle there receive less support than those who settle in metropolitan areas. In aiming to circumvent this, the Phoenix Centre in Launceston has worked to establish strong partnerships, based on principles outlined below, with local service providers as a way to deliver services that maximise outcomes for clients.
Challenges of service delivery in regional areas are multiple and include a smaller workforce, limited funding, lack of relevant service providers, and communities that are not as well established in the area, and thus less able to offer informal support and guidance to new arrivals. Additionally, recent contractual changes to key stakeholders in Launceston, such as AMEP, HSP and Refugee Health services, have meant that maintaining these partnerships has been essential to continued service delivery in Northern Tasmania.
While collaboration between organisations isn’t new, understanding exactly what underpins successful collaboration is less defined. Based on successful partnerships formed in Launceston between the Phoenix Centre, AMEP/English Language providers and the Launceston Women’s Friendship Group, we propose that successful working relationships are based on:
A focus on collaboration in Launceston has resulted in increased visibility of Phoenix services, stronger referral pathways and an ability
to reach clients who might otherwise have struggled to access Phoenix services. Highlighting benefits of collaborative partnerships
and providing clear strategies for their formation can inform other service providers who might be tasked with overcoming the many
challenges of regional service delivery to people from humanitarian backgrounds.