Young people who have recently arrived in Australia face considerable challenges in making connections to their new community. While starting school can provide opportunities to make such connections, it may in reality also serve to reinforce perceptions or experiences of social exclusion perpetuated within the broader Australian society. Drawing upon focus group data collected from two South Australian primary schools that have a New Arrivals Programme, this paper outlines the relative infrequency with which friendships between Australian-born and refugee or migrant children occurred, and explores some of the reasons behind this. The findings also highlight the different attributions the two groups of students made for forming friendships, and explores the implications of this for social inclusion. The paper concludes by suggesting the need for ongoing examinations of how newly arrived students are engaged within primary schools, and how terms for inclusion are framed.