Our Mission

The Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services of the ACT’s mission is to be a leader in provision of settlement and related services for migrants, refugees and humanitarian entrants in the ACT and region, in a caring, supporting and enabling way.


MARSS was established in 1980 as the Migrant Resource Centre and incorporated in 1983. It has been funded largely by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Financial support has also been provided to MARSS by ACT Governments since 1990. Since its inception, MARSS has been managed by a Board of Management comprising of elected nominees from Canberra’s ethnic communities, and nominated members representing the Local Government. MARSS has grown to become a vibrant service-oriented organisation, incorporating programs for migrants of all ages to assist with language, welfare, employment, access and equity for people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

What We've Achieved

  • The settlement and integration of hundreds of migrant and refugee families in Canberra through the Humanitarian Settlement Service program.
  • Free English education for migrants, permanent residents, and citizens from CALD backgrounds.
  • Free study programs for children and youth from CALD backgrounds after school.
  • Continued accommodation and legal assistance for migrants and refugees.
  • Integration and connection with mainstream support services and government departments.
  • Driving programs designed to assist migrants and refugees obtain their license and learn to drive in Australia.
  • Sporting programs designed to foster harmony and community connections for migrants within Canberra.