Why Do We Need You?
As a result of Australia’s Mandatory Detention Policy all asylum seekers entering Australia experience a non-time limited period in an Immigration Detention facility. Some asylum seeker may also be re-detained after being released into the community on Character Grounds or if they have a negative visa outcome. CARAD volunteers visit detainees in order to provide an important link to the outside community through social support and advocacy.
What Will You Be Doing?
- Providing emotional support to detainees through social visits
- Providing advocacy support to detainees by providing information, referral and appropriate assistance to access legal and other relevant supports
- Providing limited “reading and writing” assistance to detainees who need to submit Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) applications (*note: CARAD volunteers are not permitted to provide any legal or migration advice to detainees)
Who Will You Be Working With?
You will be supported by the Volunteer Coordinator and our Volunteer Detention Team Leader who will provide you with an initial induction visit, advice and resources that will assist you in your role.
You will be joining our team of more than 30 visitors and are encouraged to ‘buddy up’ and carpool with other visitors when going to the detention centre so that you can conduct visits as a group.
Each Visitor is able to visit two detainees at a time. You will be allocated detainees who have requested a visit. Detainees are all adult males from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds.
What Skills, Experience and Personal Qualities Will You Need?
- Cross-cultural social skills and a friendly, approachable nature
- Ability to provide information and “reading and writing assistance” to detainees as required
- Willingness independently submit visitor application forms, organise visits and transportation (with other visitors)
- Willingness to log volunteer hours and provide progress reports
- Good self-care techniques and support network
How Much Time Will It Take?
The visits are at Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre, located 96kms (1.5 hours) from Perth CBD, in Northam WA. Each visit lasts 2-3 hours, so in total you will spend around 6-7 hours completing the visit (volunteer are eligible for fuel reimbursement).
Visits can be booked Monday – Sunday, beginning at 1pm, 2:30pm or 5pm. However, as you will be visiting with others, it is subject to the group’s availability. Please be aware that organising visits can be logistically challenging (particularly for new visitors) and visits can be cancelled by the Detention Centre at the last minute.
Volunteer should be able to visit no less than once every 6 weeks, ideally once per month.
We ask for a minimum commitment of 6 months and as detainees are particularly vulnerable, any periods of absence must be communicated ahead of time to detainees and the Detention Team Leader.
Why Join Our Team?
You will be providing valuable emotional and advocacy support to asylum seekers who may have experienced prolonged detention, while learning new skills and gaining valuable ‘firsthand’ experience of the Immigration Detention system. You will also have the change to meet new people and offer support to some of the most vulnerable people seeking asylum in Australia.
To be considered for this role you will need the following:
- Current 2017-18 CARAD Membership
- Submitted a CARAD Volunteer Application
- Completed a National Police Check
- Completed the Building Bridges Training