The first Syrian family of the 12,000 humanitarian intake of refugees, who will arrive in Perth before Tuesday evening, are expected to settle into their new home quickly.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the family of five – comprising two parents and three children – were from Homs, in western Syria, and had gone through rigorous processing and scrutiny.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the family, who had been in a camp for several years, were arriving sooner than expected because the mother was seven months pregnant.
Mr Porter said he wanted to make their initial days in Australia as “intense-free” as possible, and it was intended Perth would be their permanent home.
“This family has been through quite a deal to arrive here in Australia,” he told reporters in Perth on Monday.
A Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre case worker will help register the family with government and language services, and schools.
The manager of Multicultural and Migration Research Centre (MMRC), Paul Rafferty said it was hoped the family would settle into the community quickly, and said all Syrian refugees would have something to offer Australia.
“They will certainly be a very traumatised group of people – they won’t have much resources – but in the same instance, they are very well educated people and quite entrepreneurial,” Mr Rafferty told AAP.
“It will be quite intensive support in the first month, simply because they basically arrive with nothing.”
Premier Colin Barnett said he believed the family would be made welcome in the community and would have access to the best health care.
Mr Dutton said the government did not mandate where refugees lived and suggested the family might have personal reasons for choosing Perth.
He said refugees were screened using biometric testing and fingerprint data checked against databases and with international intelligence and security partners.
The minister added that he had been alerted by Australian intelligence officials in Lebanon and Jordan that people were travelling on false documents, but insisted travel documents were examined by experts.
“We’re getting them here as quickly as possibly but without sacrificing any of the security or health checks,” he told ABC radio.
“If we’re in doubt about a particular person’s identity, or we think that maybe their documents aren’t legitimate then we’re moving onto the next application.”
More refugees will begin arriving in Australia next month.