Migrant support services

Inner West Council provides a range of support to newly arrived immigrants, refugees and humanitarian entrants.

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Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS)Back to top

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) can be used by members of the public to contact and speak to Council staff.

TIS National is an interpreting service, provided by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, for people who do not speak English and for the English speakers who need to communicate with them.

TIS National has more than 30 years of experience in the interpreting industry, and has access to over 1900 contracted interpreters across Australia, speaking more than 170 languages and dialects. TIS National is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any person or organisation in Australia requiring interpreting services. It provides immediate telephone interpreting services, as well as pre-booked telephone and on-site interpreting.

When you ring TIS state the language you require and you will be connected to an interpreter over the phone. If your matter is more complicated, lengthy (more than 15 minutes) or involves the explanation of legal or technical terms, TIS service can arrange an interpreter to attend an appointment with you to assist with this matter.

This is a FREE service. TIS phone number: 131 450

English Conversation ProgramBack to top

Together with Metro Assist, Council provides free English Classes for community members who experience difficulties communicating in English. Classes are held;

  • Fridays 10am–12noon in the Ashfield Civic Centre, 260 Liverpool Road, Ashfield
  • Wednesdays 1pm–3pm at Ashfield Public School (enter via Murrel Street Gate)

Both classes break during school holidays.

These volunteer run classes aim to help participants to improve their English, learn about Australian culture, make new friends and increase their knowledge of supports available to them including community services.

For more information please ring Council on (02) 9392 5813 or email sarah.harrison@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

This program is funded by Wests Ashfield Leagues.

Download flyers for these classes

Multicultural Social Support GroupBack to top

In partnership with Metro Assist, Council offers a multicultural social support group for migrant and refugee families living in the Inner West.

The group meets every Monday during school terms. By participating in the weekly activities, you will have opportunities to meet other families living in the area, make new friends, learn about Australian culture and local services, as well as take part in some interesting activities. You are welcome to bring your children with you to the group activities. For more info about the group and the activities, please contact Dinaz Rather on 9798 1700 or Dinaz.Rather@metroassist.org.au

Chinese Language Help DeskBack to top

In partnership with Chinese Australian Settlement Services (CASS) Council provides a FREE Chinese Language Help Desk. This volunteer run service provides support to Chinese speaking residents who experience difficulties communicating in English. The service helps people to understand correspondence and engage with government departments – e.g. Medicare, Housing. Volunteers can assist with filling in forms (excluding visa or immigration forms).

This service is available at Ashfield Civic Centre, 260 Liverpool Road, Ashfield every Monday from 10–12pm. For an appointment please call CASS on (02) 9789 4587 (press "2" for reception).

The New Locals Inner West AppBack to top

New Locals Inner West is a smartphone application (app) which has been designed to support and assist people who have recently arrived in Australia and the Inner West either on a humanitarian visa and or seeking asylum. Other people that are new to Australia and/or the inner west may also find it useful.

Settlement Services in the Inner WestBack to top

Chinese Australian Service Society (CASS)

CASS assists newly arrived Chinese-speaking migrants with settlement concerns including housing, employment, education as well as health & welfare issues through free face-to-face casework and referral services. The service is supported by the financial assistance from the Australian Government.

For more information visit the CASS website

Phone (02) 9789 4587 – Press '2' for Reception

Metro Assist

Metro Assist (formerly Metro Migrant Resource Centre) provides a range of community services including migrant settlement, family support and early intervention, emergency relief, tenancy services and community development.

Metro understand that when people arrive in a new country it can be overwhelming.  There are many things that need to be organised, including housing, education and employment. Problems with language can also make the transition to this new life difficult. Settlement Services organisations, such as Metro Assist, are here to help. They provide services to new arrivals in our community that make this transition easier.

Metro's services are free of charge to new migrants and refugees within the first five years of their arrival. Services are available to people living in Bankstown, Canterbury, Ashfield, Strathfield, Burwood, Marrickville, Inner West and City of Sydney.

For further information on settlement services visit the NSW Settlement Partnership website

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SERVICES IN YOUR AREA

Follow the links below to find contact details and services in your area: