The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international organisation with a mission to accompany, serve and defend the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people. JRS undertakes services at national and regional levels with the support of an international office in Rome, Italy.
JRS Australia was initiated by the Australian consortium, as a new unit of the growing international network of the organisation’s service to refugees. While JRS Australia sets its own priorities based on local needs and capacities, it calls on the experience, local knowledge and the research and advocacy capacities of the worldwide JRS network.
JRS Australia works with asylum seekers and refugees in Australia by responding to their plight in a manner that is both personal and practical. JRS particularly focuses on urgent and real needs where no one else is working. The aim of the service is to equip asylum seekers and refugees to make decisions and to find solutions to the problems that impact their lives.
Activities of JRS Australia
- The Shelter Project helps asylum seekers who are unable or not permitted to work to find accommodation. We provide a group of such asylum seekers with housing, financial support, English classes, job search assistance, accompaniment and personal support.
- We provide support to those who have been granted refugee status to find employment and offer assistance with the transition to independence.
- We regularly visit Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in a pastoral role. This involves offering pastoral care to both those who are to be deported as well as those awaiting the outcome of their case. In the case of those awaiting deportation, we may link them with JRS networks overseas. We also provide pastoral care to detainees on Christmas Island.
- We provide research and advocacy into forced displacement in Pacific region in order to advise government and NGOs on policy and program responses in this area.
- We research the nature and causes of refugee flight and look for better ways of responding.
- We work with government and other refugee groups to develop fairer asylum processes to ensure asylum seekers receive just and dignified treatment.
- As well as offering professional support for asylum seekers and refugees, we have the services of a team of volunteers who assist us in our work.
- We link with JRS International and broker overseas field placement for Australians wishing to work for JRS internationally.
To find out more about JRS, please address your enquiries to:
P: 02 9356 3888
F :02 9356 3021
E: info [at] jrs [dot] org [dot] au
A: 24 Roslyn St, Elizabeth Bay, NSW, 2011