THE Asylum Seeker Project (ASP) has now officially joined the recently amalgamated Lentara UnitingCare.
Lentara, which was formed last year by the union of the longstanding Sunshine, Broadmeadows and Orana UnitingCares, will consolidate the ASP with its Asylum Seeker Welcome Centre in Brunswick to provide a strengthened asylum seeker service to the Melbourne community. ASP will still be based in North Melbourne.
ASP had been a program of UnitingCare Hotham Mission for 15 years. In 2011, the federal government responded to the growing overcrowding in asylum seeker detention centres by contracting out community detention placements to chosen providers.
With its lengthy experience, the ASP was identified as a key provider and its workload and programs substantially increased.
“The joining enables a more consolidated approach and stronger focal point for the programs and services offered to people seeking asylum. The combined reach also creates an opportunity for the ASP to extend services in the North West region,” Lentara CEO, Joy Nunn said.
Lentara is an Aboriginal word which translates to ‘dawning of the day’. It was originally a name adopted by one of Orana’s cottages that provided care to children unable to live at home with their families.