Our Work

Our mission is to accompany, serve and advocate for the forcibly displaced. More on the JRS Australia mission in action is below.

Our work in Australia 

 Around the globe, JRS works in 57 countries assisting refugees, people seeking asylum, and other forcibly displaced people in camps, detention centres, war zones, and urban settings. JRS’ programs focus on access to education, emergency assistance, healthcare, livelihood activities and social services. At the end of 2019, JRS served more than 811,884 people worldwide. 

In 2019, JRS Australia served and accompanied approximately 3,800 people seeking asylum, refugees, and migrants in vulnerable situations. This took the form of emergency assistance, food bank support, specialist casework, community development activities, employment assistance, schools engagement, hosting legal clinics (via the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS)), and a project to support the empowerment of women on temporary visas experiencing or at risk of sexual and gender-based violence. 

JRS Australia also advocates for the rights of people seeking asylum, refugees, and migrants in vulnerable situations. Our advocacy takes a number of forms including participation in policy development, and lobbying at the national, Asia-Pacific international levels; parliamentary engagement; research and commentary; campaigning with  partners; and grassroots organising. 

Our advocacy is characterised by the following principles:

  • It stems directly from our close engagement with the people we serve and accompany
  • It is linked to JRS Australia’s services and programs
  • It is based on and inspired by Jesuit Values, our Universal Apostolic Preferences and Ignatian spirituality 
  • It is built on a solid research and evidence base 

JRS Australia has strong links with parishes, communities and schools across Australia, religious orders, local and state governments, partner organisations, campaigns and coalitions, and other organisations in the community in the not for profit and education sectors. JRS Australia is also the co-convenor of the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA). 

JRS Australia collaborates with leaders with lived experience and diaspora communities to ensure that the voices, perspectives, and expertise of forcibly displaced people are centred in all of our work.  In practice, this takes many forms, including the employment of people with lived experience, the co-design and implementation of community development initiatives by leaders of lived experience, and their central presence in political delegations, advocacy, and media.