About Us

The Role of ACMRO

The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) was established by the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference on 1 July 1995. It took the place of two previous Conference bodies - The Federal Catholic Immigration Committee, and The Australian Catholic Refugee Office - and assumed many of their functions. The Office is responsible to the ACBC through Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry.

The work of the Office can best be described by the mandate which it has been given by the Bishops:

  • To advise and serve the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference at both a national and international level on migrant and refugee issues, including the development of Church policy.
  • To act as an official Church voice as approved by the Bishops' Conference on issues relating to migrants and refugees.
  • To act as a channel of communication between Diocesan Offices and the Bishops' Conference.
  • To provide a mechanism for effective consultation and coordination among Catholic bodies and other groups involved in migrant and refugee activities.
  • To make appropriate representation to Government and other bodies on matters relating to migrants and refugees.

Mission Statement

We, the staff of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office, dedicate our efforts towards the acceptance and settlement of Refugees and Migrants into Australia. We do this especially by our efforts to influence Government policies in this area. We also seek to form Catholic Church policy in Australia for the Pastoral Care of Refugees and Migrants.

Refugees and asylum seekers merit our special consideration. We undertake this special service in their regard, irrespective of their creed or origin.

Within our capacity and limited resources, we commit ourselves to this mission of care and support in every possible way.

We believe that this work reflects the Church's universal compassion for those in need. Christ himself, and his Vicars on earth (the Popes),have often told us this.

On October 21, 1993, Pope John Paul II said:

" The Church's social teaching supports the dignity and rights of people on the move and demands that adequate solutions be found for the suffering that forces people to flee their homes. It also demands that governments protect and care for foreigners in their nations.

For Jesus, the stranger who asks for hospitality, or the immigrant who asks for acceptance, is a member of the same family…. to accept the other means to make space for him in one's city, in one's laws, in one's time, and in one's circle of friends”. (Plenary meeting of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People — October 21, 1993.)

What The Catholic Church Teaches on Asylum and Migration (pdf)