In 1994, an assembly of 200 immigrant women at a conference entitled “Voicing our Diversity” at La Trobe University Abbotsford Campus, mandated an interim committee to work towards setting up a statewide advocacy body that would take up issues that specifically concern immigrant and refugee women.

The call was finally realised by a group of 25 women who met on July 23, 1997, and formally set up the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition (VIRWC) by approving its constitution and electing four interim office holders prior to its first annual general meeting.

The VIRWC held its first AGM on November 26, 1998, attended by more than a hundred women representing many cultures. A Committee of Management comprising 11 women was elected.

Since then, the VIRWC has grown substantially and includes a variety of organisations and individual members and has completed many exciting and innovative projects and initiatives.

To be an inclusive, just and peaceful community that is characterized by respect for the innate dignity of each human being; the celebration of difference; a feeling amongst immigrant and refugee women of social connection and belonging; and in which the diverse contributions of immigrant and refugee women are enabled, supported and recognised.

To work collaboratively with refugee and migrant women to meet their  needs, objectives and goals. We will do this by:

Building the capacity of women to be independent through:

Sharing our advice and expertise
Building multicultural women’s voices
Linking women to resources and assisting them to navigate the Australian service sector
Improving the capacity of women to advocate and speak on their own behalf within the Australian community

Representing the views/issues of our members to government, the media, public/private bodies, and decision makers through:

Policy work
Advocacy work
Education work

Increasing awareness within the mainstream Victorian community and mainstream organisations about issues affecting our members and increasing the capacity of those organisations to embrace diversity through our:

Education and Training 
Project activities
Consulting and advisory work
Social activities

Facilitating social interaction, networking, and connectivity amongst our women and the general community

Social Justice
Inclusion and Diversity
Respect
Excellence
Accountability
Transparency
Sustainability

To the best of our ability, we seek to model our values throughout the work of our organisation, in our engagement with others, and in the way we represent our members.