ARA’s social engagement programs and activities connect new arrivals and the wider Australian community. The programs not only provide new arrivals with opportunities to develop greater local connections, they also provide information and links to mainstream services.

As well as supporting individuals, we support new and emerging community organisations. With opportunities to increase their skills, knowledge and capacity, community organisations are enabled to assist their communities to settle successfully in Australia. ARA provides culturally sensitive one-to-one training sessions for leadership teams to build their capacity to respond to and support their community members. A holistic approach to collaboratively working with community leaders leads to long-term, sustainable and community-led organisations.
Community leaders are volunteers in their communities who provide practical support and information to their community members. ARA's innovative approach to supporting community leaders has seen leaders develop many valuable, long-term networks with mainstream services. These networks have been developed through visits to local community centres as well as a range of informal conversations.

Leaders participate in workshops, trainings and forums all designed to increase leaders' skills and knowledge. This enables leaders to better support their communities and to create a sustainable future for their organisations.

ARA's volunteer mentors have used their skills by supporting leaders in specific areas such as web design, policy development and finances.
ARA’s cultural awareness programs are an integral part of our holistic approach to service delivery. ARA’s experience as a leading provider of settlement services has allowed us to develop a unique and comprehensive series of cultural awareness workshops delivered to mainstream services, other organisations and community members.

ARA’s cultural awareness workshops equip community members and organisations with the knowledge to respectfully and actively engage with newly-arrived communities and to provide culturally sensitive and appropriate services to people of a refugee background.

A key feature of ARA’s cultural awareness workshops is the ongoing involvement of ARA Youth Ambassadors who offer their time as guest speakers and facilitate QandA sessions.
ARA facilitates a successful, quarterly network meeting that brings together a wide range of government and non-government organisations, community groups and individuals. With a focus on new arrival settlement-related issues, the Settlement Action Network (SAN) provides an opportunity for its 300 members to collaborate and collectively respond to key issues. Smaller working parties are formed as needed to provide more in-depth responses. Previous meeting themes include social inclusion, the role of community constables, and the pivotal role community centres can play in reducing isolation.