Drop-in Centre

Our Drop-In centre currently operates in the Melbourne CBD and is open to all refugees and asylum seekers. It is opened 5 days a week from 10 am to 6 pm. Currently there are over 400 asylum seekers and refugees who access RISE services each week, with around 3000 registered members within the organisation.

There are few places in Melbourne which offer a safe haven for asylum seekers and refugees to build a social network while gaining confidence and support. The RISE Drop-In Centre is a welcoming place that promotes inclusion, growth and on-going support.

The Drop-In Centre offers a range of resources including:

  • Computer lab (with Internet facilities) and weekly computer literacy workshops
  • RISE Resource Library (books, magazines, news articles, on multiculturalism and settlement support)
  • Food Bank
  • Free refreshments and snacks
  • Community, welfare forums and media connections
  • Resume Clinic
  • Settlement support advice
  • University and TAFE Information Open Days
  • Music and poetry workshops
  • Creative writing and drawing workshops
  • Social networking space and community message board (including information on festivals, upcoming events and news pertaining to relevant creative industries, including visual arts, performing arts, music, theatre, writing and publishing and exhibitions)

The RISE Drop-In Centre welcomes community members of all ages and provides social opportunities for newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers to meet and create social support networks through our Drop-In Centre programming. This programming includes: arts activities (such as music, drama and visual arts) which focus on broad themes allowing participants the opportunity to explore creative outlets (such as poetry and creative writing) as well as to celebrate and share their cultures. In addition, the participants will share a residential workshop, or if this is not possible, an end-of-workshop gathering.

Participants can work towards achieving Young People’s Arts Awards and will be involved in public performances and exhibitions. These activities will showcase their work, improve self-confidence and celebrate our members’ achievements. Some participants in our music and arts programming delivered through the Drop-In Centre will go on to develop skills as facilitators and workshop leaders.

The social networks created in the Drop-In Centre are a key aspect of the space. The Drop-In Centre aims to increase awareness and provide opportunities for social interaction between and among our members, who hail from various cultural and religious backgrounds. The Drop-In Centre may provide food and a place to play games and meet people, but more importantly, it serves as a safe-haven for our community members to be themselves and to interact with a diverse cross-section of the refugee and asylum seeker communities. The social and familial element here is as important as the arts and educational activities we aim to provide. It creates a sense of belonging and participation in a larger community, reducing isolation.