Negative Australian media and political discourse concerning refugees have often portrayed them as a burden, cost or threat to the Australian community, and/or unable or unwilling to integrate into the broader Australian community because of their (‘illegal’) means of arrival, or their cultural, religious and educational characteristics. It has been argued, however, that refugees make very positive economic, social and civic contributions to host societies (Hugo et al. 2011; Collins 2013). Underpinning this research is an understanding that living and engaging in a community is multifaceted. That engagement must be considered in a holistic way that looks at social, cultural and economic factors. Engagement, contribution or impact cannot simply be measured or understood as a dollar figure, that is, how a group of people help the economic position of the community.