Day-tripping across the South East is much more than just fun for migrant families, writes Centacare family worker Melissa Woolford.
Leaving everything behind in one country to begin life in another is not without its challenges.
There is a new language to learn, different laws, and new education and health systems to navigate.
In partnership with Natural Resources South East, Centacare is supporting families to meet these challenges by taking them on regional day trips.
From kite flying to fishing clinics and beach fun, the outings give adults and children a taste of local culture, and the opportunity to meet new friends and learn about community supports.
They also aim to ease social isolation by helping families to familiarise themselves with their new environment in a fun, informal way.
Language barriers are overcome with the support of community members who act as interpreters.
Run by the Family Connections team and funded by Grants SA and, the day trips have included a fishing clinic at Port MacDonnell, and kite flying and a family barbecue at Nelson.
Next month, families will have an opportunity to visit a farm and interact with animals at an agricultural-themed excursion, or take a trip back in time – and a history lesson – at the Millicent Museum.
Many families identify as Congolese or Kareni.
We see the trips as a way to build their confidence through connections to education, community services, and even links to employment opportunities.
The day trips are promoted to all migrant families through our partnerships with Mount Gambier Migrant Resource Centre, local schools, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, and other community service providers.
The Department for Communities and Social Inclusion has contributed funds towards this project.
For more information, phone Centacare South East 8724 0500.