Australian Refugee Advisory Panel

Job Req ID






Employment Type

Temporary - Minimum 8 hours per month. This is an unpaid position.


Vacancy Duration

18 months


Contact Officer


Applications close on Saturday, 30 September 2023 at 11:59pm AEST (midnight) - Late applications will not be accepted.



The Australian Government is seeking highly motivated candidates to form an Australian Refugee Advisory Panel (Panel). The Panel will provide a formal mechanism for meaningful refugee participation in Australia’s engagement with the international refugee protection system and humanitarian assistance.


The Panel will comprise seven to nine (7-9) advisors, who will serve as panel members for an initial 18-month term.


The Panel is envisaged to:

  1. Bring the grounded reality of the refugee experience to discussions, ensuring that refugee perspectives, knowledge and experiences inform Government policy and programs relating to resettlement, complementary pathways and the provision of humanitarian and development assistance to refugees.
  2. Lend substantial expert authority to Australian delegations in international fora – bringing expertise and representing the diversity of refugee knowledge and perspectives from different communities across Australia.
  3. Connect to the Refugee Leadership Ecosystem – utilising connections to refugee community networks in Australia and globally. Advisors can also play a key role in bridge-building and facilitation prior to and during meetings, including connecting with other refugee-led initiatives.
  4. Champion the cause of enhancing meaningful refugee participation in the international community.


This is an unpaid position, with an expected time commitment of approximately 8-10 hours a month. Additional time commitments may be required for travel to meetings and training. The Government will fund domestic and international travel expenses (airfares, accommodation and travel allowance for basic expenses) and related training to support travel to meetings where advising the Australian Government. Panel members will be supported by a Refugee Leaders Training Programme to provide training and capacity building on how to navigate global refugee policy processes.



The Panel will provide refugee and humanitarian entrants in Australia a structured, meaningful and independent platform to inform the Government’s development and implementation of policies, strategies and programs relating to international refugee protection. This includes resettlement and complementary pathways, such as refugee labour mobility and community sponsorship, international assistance to refugees and host countries, and policy advocacy in multilateral fora. The Panel will draw views and advice from other Australian refugee-led organisations, civil society organisations and non-government organisations (NGOs) to ensure the Panel leverages and complements existing efforts.


As part of its role, the Panel will advise the Government on its presentation of Australia’s commitments and key messages at the second Global Refugee Forum 2023 | UNHCR held in Geneva, Switzerland, 13-15 December 2023, and advise on the subsequent development and implementation of Australia’s commitments. The Panel will also work closely with the Government, and the Refugee Council of Australia, during Australia’s term as Chair of the 2024 Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement | UNHCR Australia (recently re-named the Consultations on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways (CRCP)).


Some Panel members may be expected to travel internationally, including to the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, in December 2023.


Who can apply:

Applications are sought from people who have held refugee status, sought asylum, or experienced forced displacement, and have since resettled in Australia on a refugee or humanitarian visa; or through another visa category such as skilled migration (e.g. the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement Pilot). Applications received from people currently employed in the Department of Home Affairs and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will not be considered.


Selection criteria:

Successful candidates for the Refugee Advisory Panel will have:


  • Held refugee status, sought asylum, or experienced forced displacement and resettled in Australia on a refugee or humanitarian visa; OR experienced forced displacement, including statelessness, and arrived in Australia via another visa category such as skilled migration (e.g. the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement Pilot).
  • Ability to constructively support and inform Government delegations at multilateral fora. This includes the ability to travel internationally as early as December 2023 to Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience in a refugee-led or refugee-serving organisation in Australia or elsewhere. This includes having well-established networks and active engagement with Australian, regional and/or global refugee communities and refugee policy ecosystem, and ability to consult, research and advocate on issues affecting diverse refugee communities.
  • Ability to contribute to thematic expertise, for example, but not limited to, expertise in issues of resettlement, complementary pathways (e.g. refugee labour mobility and community sponsorship), gender equality, disability inclusion, education and economic outcomes for refugees and host communities.
  • Contribute to the Panel’s demographic, regional, age, and gender diversity including marginalised groups such as LGBTQI+ and ethnic and religious minorities.


  • Strong understanding of, and experience with, Australia’s refugee resettlement processes and/or complementary pathways, international protection and humanitarian assistance, and The Global Compact on Refugees.
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in constructive advocacy or partnership with government, NGOs or UN agencies.
  • Experience working in the global protection and resettlement system, humanitarian assistance, settlement support or other related fields.
  • First-hand experience with Australia’s Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement Pilot, Community Support Program (CSP), or Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot (CRISP).


Please note that applicants must be able to commit a minimum of 8 hours a month to the work of the Refugee Advisory Panel over an 18 month term.


Please also note that well-developed communication skills, including a high level proficiency in written and spoken English, will be assessed as part of the overall selection process.


How to apply:

To apply, please upload the following documents.

  • Resumé/CV
  • Personal statement of maximum one-page that details:
    • How you meet the selection criteria
    • What you hope to gain from the Refugee Advisory Panel
    • What you hope to contribute to and achieve through the Refugee Advisory Panel
    • How you will endeavour to represent and be accountable to refugee communities
  • Two letters of recommendation that speak to:
    • How the applicant meets the selection criteria
    • Why the applicant would be a good candidate for the Refugee Advisory Panel


Please upload the two letters of recommendation together as one document with your CV. 


Technical assistance

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