Refugee families are welcomed and supported by the local SA community at AMES Australia’s facility


A new accommodation facility for refugees in Adelaide has become a safe and welcoming first home for refugees settling in Australia after fleeing conflict or persecution.

In a remarkable display of community solidarity, it has also become a vital conduit for refugee families – helping them build connections with the local community.

Local schools, businesses, community groups and the council in Regency Park/Woodville gardens community have rallied around to support families of recently arrived refugees, providing them with material goods, fun experiences and learning opportunities.

The Regency Green facility, run by settlement agency AMES Australia in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, opened as a short-term accommodation facility in September 2022.

“The support we have seen from the local community has been remarkable – from visits organised to the local library to the provision of play equipment for the children and also trips to sporting events – there has been an amazing amount of proactive support,” said Cath Scarth, AMES Australia CEO.

The facility was officially launched by SA’s Minister for Human Services Nat Cook, and UnitingSA Chair Gael Fraser and is the result of a partnership between refugee and migrant settlement agency AMES Australia and not-for-profit agency UnitingSA.

The local community has donated, supported and helped the refugees build connections and their new lives in Australia.

The Local Rotary club provided catering to the facility’s opening event and donated funding for play and sports equipment while the Woodville Primary School ran a playgroup for the refugee children at the facility and the local Bunnings store donated cubby houses and sand pits for the children.

The kids were treated to activities such as painting, play-doh and twister games organised by Coordinator Gloria Debba.

The local Port Adelaide-Enfield Council have also become involved in supporting the new arrivals and has facilitated visits to a local library and the nearby Kilburn Community Centre, where refugee families can access resources, playgroups and markets.

Australia-wide Resources Recovery has gone a step further and provided a truckload of books, toys and games as well as recycled children’s bikes.

The 78-bed facility was conceived of as the first home in Australia for newly arrived refugees. But it has become so much more.

“Regency Green is a safe and welcoming place for people who have fled conflict or persecution to begin their journeys to a new life in Australia,” said Scarth.


“But more than this, the facility is opening doors and creating opportunities for our clients. It has given them connections into the local community and also to the broader Australian society.”

AMES Australia’s Accommodation Team Leader Stephen Barker highlighted that the support of the local community had had a palpable effect on the refugee’s well-being.

“It has been incredible to see how the local community has stepped up to support our refugee clients,” said Barker.

“We have seen people arrive fleeing conflicts and feeling stressed and out of sorts. But after just a couple weeks because of the support and welcome they’ve received, they are laughing and smiling.”

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