Asylum Seekers Living in the Australian Community: A Casework and Reception Approach, Asylum Seeker Project, Hotham Mission, Melbourne

Grant Mitchell, Sara Kirsner


In Australia, asylum seekers either are detained in immigration detention centres or, depending upon their mode of entry into Australia and the status of their application for protection, live in the community, often in a state of abject poverty. Hotham Mission’s Asylum Seeker Project (ASP), a Melbourne-based non-governmental organization (NGO), is unique in Australia in its comprehensive work in housing and supporting asylum seekers in the community, particularly those released from detention. The work of the Asylum Seeker Project illustrates that it is possible, through the application of a comprehensive reception casework system, to adequately support asylum seekers in the community with their welfare needs and to prepare asylum seekers for all immigration outcomes. The Project thus provides a compassionate model of reception support and a viable alternative to immigration detention.

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