Beginning Life in Canberra
Welcome to Australia and in particular to Canberra.
The Australian, State, Territory and Local Governments of Australia, together with non-government agencies, provide Australian residents with a wide range of services. This booklet will give you a basic idea of the sort of services and assistance that is available, and where you can go to ask for advice.
This booklet is targeted at all prospective and newly arrived migrants to Australia with a particular focus on permanent migrants and humanitarian entrants as well as their sponsors and service providers. Refugee and humanitarian entrants should also refer to information supplied specifically for them by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).
It will always be difficult to make all information in the booklet relevant to all readers. It is important to note that some permanent migrants and most temporary visa holders may not be eligible for all services.
Canberra is Australia’s national capital and the administrative centre for the nation’s Federal Government. Established in 1913, Canberra houses many national buildings including Parliament House, the War Memorial and the National Gallery of Australia.
The city of Canberra is situated in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The ACT is not a state but nevertheless has a government whose responsibilities are similar to both those of a state as well as those of a local government. This booklet gives information on some of the services the ACT Government provides.
Please take the time to read this booklet carefully. We believe you will find it useful as you begin your new life in Australia. You should use the most recent edition, available from many settlement service providers and from the ‘Living in Australia’ web pages www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia. We suggest you read Chapters 1– 4 first. They deal with issues of particular concern to you during your first weeks.
The issues you will face as you begin your new life in Australia are complex and changing. There will be challenges, and also rewards. In the end, your success will depend on your own efforts, as well as the goodwill of those willing to help you. Welcome and good luck!
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