Settlement services

Wimmera Southern Mallee Development's Settlement Services supports people from migrant and refugee backgrounds to settle in the Wimmera Southern Mallee. Services include individual client casework, assistance with driving lessons, homework clubs, social networks such as playgroups and sewing group, and linkages to other support services.

WSMD considers migration a primary driver to the prosperity of the region and works with a range of partners and stakeholders to deliver services, support communities and advocate for migration as a regional priority issue.

Support for individuals


Read more about the support available locally for individuals and families from migrant and refugee backgrounds.


Services and education


Learn about the range of services and education available through Wimmera Settlement Services and partner organisations.


Migration strategy, resources and regional advocacy

Wimmera Southern Mallee Development’s vision is to grow the Wimmera Southern Mallee from a $3.3-billion region to a $5-billion region by 2030. Population growth driven by migration is essential to that that vision.

 WDA Migration Strategy Review, 2020 (717kb PDF)

 Wimmera and Southern Mallee Integrated Approaches to Settlement, 2017 Report (2Mb PDF)

The settlement of Karen refugees at Nhill has contributed economically and culturally to the life of the town while offering opportunities for employment and social participation to the refugee settlers. The settlement has added more than $105-million to the local economy during the decade since it began while also providing rich cultural and social benefits to the town. AMES Australia commissioned two reports to track the benefits to the region: 

Karen Settlement Review, 2019 report – Settling Sustainably – Ten years of refugee settlement at Nhill, in western Victoria (4Mb PDF) 

Small Towns Big Returns – Economic and social impact of the Karen resettlement in Nhill, 2015 report (1Mb PDF) 

National Settlement Framework 2021 - SCoA-Settlement Sector Quality Framework 

The WSMD follows the recommendations in the Settlement Council of Australia's Settlement Service Best Practice. The Settlement Sector Quality Framework (1Mb PDF) describes the outcomes that need to be achieved for refugees and migrants to be considered ‘settled’, and how settlement services go about achieving these outcomes in practice. The Self-assessment Tool (1Mb PDF) provides more detail about what an effective settlement support service can provide.

The WSMD does not provide assistance with migration. Please contact an accredited migration agent