26 October 2022
The Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) notes several important initiatives in the Federal Government’s 2022/23 budget and would welcome the opportunity to work with government to ensure these initiatives deliver better health outcomes for migrant and refugee women living in Australia.
The investment of $531.6 million over 4 years to modernise and expand the Paid Parental Leave scheme is a needed step towards increasing gender equity and will help support many parents, including migrant and refugee parents in the early stages of a birth.
This budget has also pledged $12.6 million in additional funding to provide eligible temporary visa holders who are experiencing violence with financial support and legal assistance, including migration support.
“Visa status continues to be a huge barrier for women who are experiencing violence to find and receive adequate information and support, so this additional funding for the Temporary Visa Holders Experiencing Violence Pilot is good news” said Dr Regina Torres-Quiazon, Acting Executive Director of the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health.
It is also encouraging to see that $1 million has been committed to the Multicultural Policy Framework Review, as well as some funding to improve the migration program and develop a National Anti-Racism Strategy.
“These are promising signs that migrant and refugee communities will be put back on the national agenda,” said Dr. Torres-Quiazon.
“The initiatives that centre around greater partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership are also very promising and necessary steps that we strongly support.”
Dr. Torres-Quiazon said that the October budget made some solid steps forward in addressing systemic health inequities and she looks forward to working with government to build on this progress in the lead up to May.
“MCWH hopes that the May 2023 Budget will deliver a range of announcements that clearly addresses the specific health needs of Australia’s growing migrant and refugee population.” said Dr. Torres-Quiazon.
“We can’t forget that COVID-19 continues to impact on many migrant communities and the road to recovery – for communities and our health systems – has only just begun.”
Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health is a national not-for-profit organisation led by and run for migrant and refugee women to improve their health, wellbeing and safety.
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