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By Heng Phang




FOR THE PERIOD 01-10-1999 TO 31-10-2000


Overall Comments and Assessment

The second difficulty, which affected the service agreement delivery, was to hand the six monthly report and yearly report coincided with the SICMAA’s AGM report.

No adverse on unplanned impacts have been detected by the worker from the implementation of the approved work program.




Immigration and Citizenship: 160

Income support and finances: 80

Material Assistance and Emergency Relief: 37

Employment: 30

Education and Training: 20

Learning English: 16

Accommodation and Housing:  48

Health: 25

Mental Health:  0

Torture / Trauma:  0

Childcare: 0

Aged Care:  0

Youth Issues: 40

Domestic Violence: 36

Legal: 75

Police: 30

Settlement Information: 75

Other: 54


Total: 726




I have assisted many clients from simple cases to more complicated ones.

I have dealt with in the following areas:



The processing time for spouse case has been quicker now for applications that are regarded as bona-fide. This is good news for those who were married in Cambodia. In the past, a sponsor had to wait at least 18 months before he/she could be successfully reunited with their spouse. Almost all visitors from Cambodia have the 8503 condition with their visas. This condition bans them to apply for further stay on change their status while staying in Australia.




Due to shortage of staff, clients are encouraged to go directly to Centrelink for direct assistance. However, the number coming to SICMAA for assistance is steady. This is due to the fact that Centrelink forms are complicated and confusing. People do not want to take risks because a mistake means loosing or reducing their benefit. Sometimes, they do not know they receive the over payment because they make a mistake in the form or they do not understand the form properly.


Despite all of these problems, clients are encouraged to go directly to Centrelink for direct assistance. This would help them feel confident to make use of service providers indefinitely.




SICMAA is running English classes and community business employment programs. Therefore it is handy to refer them to attend English class and make appointment for them should they want employment.


In the past six months, there have been quite a significant number of Cambodians attending English classes held at SICMAA.


Gambling problem is a big concern within the Cambodian community because it affects the whole family. Children are left without supervision, teenagers who have finished school, hang around on the street because they know that their parents are not home anyway and even if they go home they do not have anything to eat.


I have implemented the two milestones on due date. My first milestone is to establish a volunteer program. The purpose of this program is to make Cambodian service available at SICMAA when the worker has to be out for meetings, seminars on outreach contacts. The second milestone is to give immigration information and form filling instruction seminars. The purpose of the program is to reduce the clients waiting time for assistance and importantly to be aware of any changes in immigration sponsoring.







I have worked at SCAAB every Wednesday. This is an advantage to encourage clients to go to Springvale Legal Service, to workers within SCAAB such as Consumer worker, tenancy worker, housing worker, financial counsellor, child support worker. First clients are reluctant to go when I do not work there. However once they use the services, they keep going there without my presence.


The other mainstream services that clients are confident in using are regional DIMA, Centrelink, Department of Planning and City of Greater Dandenong.




This year, I have raised the issues of gambling, drug, children at risk and the lack of Cambodian interpreters when needed. I have been contacted by mainstream services to talk about the issues. The gambling worker is now available at SCAAB. However, the Cambodian interpreters are still the problem.


This year, I supervise two community order workers referred by Dandenong office of connection.


I organised an outing for single women with children to Phillip Island with the help of the community to provide transport and food to cover ten women and five children at no cost.




The following seminars committee meeting, the worker has been involved in order to improve mainstream service:

    1. Economic and Business Visa

    2. Migration Appeal

    3. Change of Status

    4. Protection Visa