Understanding Australian Government financial and employment agencies

We all participate in Australia’s economy in different ways as we earn or spend money; for example, by finding paid work, managing money, running small businesses, getting training or education to prepare for work, paying bills, fines and tax, and seeking concession or welfare payments. Whether we are able to understand and use the financial systems in Australia and take part in the economy affects our health, safety and wellbeing.

Refugee and migrant women can find it harder to take part in the economy and to deal with Australian Government agencies, due to barriers such as limited English, low access to education and training, and a lack of affordable alternative care for children or family members (a responsibility usually held by women).

This fact sheet is designed to help refugee and migrant women living in Victoria, and the community services that work with them to better understand Centrelink, Job Active and the Australian Taxation Office. It explains your rights when interacting with these agencies, how to access interpreters, how to make a complaint, and where to get more information and support. The fact sheet is available to download in Burmese, English, Farsi, Karen and Tibetan.

This fact sheet resulted from the Promoting Economic Participation and Equity for Refugee and Migrant Women research project. The full research report, a plain English summary of what we found, and another fact sheet designed to help community women understand how to use ombudsman services, are also available online.

Understanding Australian Government financial and employment agencies