Lately, I’ve noticed an absolute EXPLOSION in interest in the phrase “HSP Ballarat”
Traffic on the Bunnyscrum website has reached unprecedented levels for a relatively cult food sensation following, and while I do like to think that Ballarat has the BEST Halal Snack packs in VIC, that even beat some famous Melbourne institutions of late night greasy goodness, I think people might just be looking for something entirely, totally different, and honestly, a lot less frivolous than a late night feed.
HSP can also stand for Humanitarian Settlement Program, It’s administered by the Australian government Department of Social Services, or DSS.
What is a Humanitarian Settlement Program?
When new refugee migrants first arrive in Australia, they encounter one of the most challenging and difficult periods in their lives, where they have little to no financial resources, often limited English language skills, or knowledge of the culture, laws and customs of their new adopted home, Australia.
They need to navigate their way though a bewildering maze of hoops to jump through in order to become integrated and productive in their new environment, much of which everyday, established Australians see as commonplace, and take for granted; starting with successfully accessing financial support, finding a place to live, educating themselves, and finding a job. On top of this, they still bear the scars and trauma of atrocities and hardships that may have occurred in their country of origin, and in many cases, along the journey toward Australia.
Such new migrant arrivals benefit greatly from assistance and support delivered by organizations who assist their initial transition.
Ballarat first became a region of settlement as part of a pilot program involving immigrants from the African nation of Togolese ; which had mixed success came under heavy criticism for poor planning initially, mainly through a paper written by an academic
However, anecdotal commentary from some participants at the time indicated extremely positive outcomes, gratefulness generally for having escaped the horrors and hardships of life in refugee camps.
More information about the role of organizations who assist refugee migrants can be found in the below paper:
The DSS website lists the following organizations as service providers:
These providers hold the contract for servicing the area of Regional Victoria, which encompasses the settlement areas of