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Syrian/Iraqi Refugee Response

When the Australian Government agreed to permanently resettle 12,000 additional Syrian and Iraqi refugees, the Archbishop called on Sydney Anglicans to respond.

This program works with Anglican churches, Sydney Diocesan agencies and the community to co-ordinate work with Syrian and Iraqi refugees and build the capacity of parishes to work with newly arrived Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

(Photos: Left taken at ESL Training 14 July 2017, Right taken at Syrian Iraqi Refugee Response Picnic 8 July 2017)

How can you be involved

Specific Volunteering Opportunities

Mobile Community Pantry

  • Tuesday morning at St Luke's Liverpool – volunteers needed for lifting and unpacking heavy boxes of food
  • Arabic speaking volunteers needed in many church programs, including Bankstown Mobile Community Pantry.

ESL Classes

  • Volunteer to teach English at your church or another church needing support.
  • Current volunteering opportunities in Greenacre and St Johns Park.

ENRICH Mentoring

Would you like to help refugees from Syria and Iraq and have a positive impact on the community?

A pilot program of 10 pairs will be conducted for ENRICH Mentoring from October-December. The program enables volunteers to mentor Syrian and Iraqi refugees in employment and friendship through a structured 8 week program. Migrant and Refugee Services are currently recruiting volunteers from across the Diocese. This pilot requires a commitment of one hour per week for 8 weeks and 3 events. 

For further information and to get involved, please contact MARS[at][dot]au

Other Volunteering Opportunities

  • Sign up to our Volunteer training to be better equipped to welcome and assist refugees.
  • Explore the possibility of setting up an ELTP in your church for new refugee families or assist a group in another area.
  • Could your church assist to bring a family to Australia as the “Proposer” under the Special Humanitarian Visa. Information about the visa and the proposer’s obligations are at
  • Keep up to date with the latest volunteering opportunities by subscribing to the monthly MARS e-newsletter here.

For further information please contact MARS[at][dot]au

(Photos: Taken at Syrian Iraqi Refugee Response Picnic 8 July 2017)


MARS monthly newsletter

Migrant and Refugee Services is now releasing monthly newsletters to keep the Diocese up to date with what is happening in the Syrian and Iraqi Refugee Response.

Sign up to receive the monthly MARS e-newsletter to keep up to date with the Syrian and Iraqi Refugee Response's activities, events and volunteering opportunities. See our latest newsletter here.

Blanket and Heater Drive

Several churches across the Diocese responded to the call for blankets and heaters this winter. Over 150 blankets and quilts and 80 heaters have been donated by churches across the diocese. As a result of the Diocesan response, the Rockford Novotel has also donated over 100 blankets. Thank you for your generosity in supporting newly arrived migrants and refugees in this way!

(Left: Blankets and quilts donated by Springwood Anglican Church. Right: Jeremy Johnston, Novotel Rockford, and Sarah Milne, communications Officer for Syrian and Iraqi Refugee Response‚Äč)


Anglicare’s extensive experience working with refugees allows us to respond to the needs of Syrian, Iraqi and other refugee families through the following programs:

English as a Second Language (ESL)

ESL is a practical way to assist migrants and refugees learn conversational English and adjust to a new culture. Anglicare works in partnership with 90 churches to provide ESL classes across the Diocese. Trained volunteers use a specially developed curriculum and students can attend additional Easy-English Bible study classes.

Early Learning Through Play (ELTP)

The ELTP program equips churches who wish to offer an early learning program to refugee and migrant families in their community. ELTP offers children from refugee and migrant backgrounds play-based learning experiences that support their development, wellbeing and preparation for school.

Humanitarian Counselling (Hope)

Through counselling Hope aims to address issues that refugees face while transitioning to Australia including family relationships, trauma and loss and mental health issues. An Arabic speaking counsellor and interpreters are available. Referrals can be made by contacting jean.daher[at][dot]au

Community Settlement Worker

This position works directly with new arrivals through casework and advocacy particularly those needing more complex support, to link new arrivals to churches and volunteers and to support church members with skills and knowledge to support migrants and refugees.  Contact houssun.zakhary[at][dot]au.

Linking churches

Connecting churches and volunteers from resource-rich/refugee-poor churches with refugee-rich/resource-poor churches. Contact MARS[at][dot]au.

(Photos: Left taken at ESL Training 14 July 2017, Right taken at an ELTP Class)