Swinburne University of Technology is hosting a youth information forum for young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
Swinburne’s event – called My Choice, My Life - is in collaboration with a number of service providers, including YMCA Manningham, Victoria Police, Eastern Community Legal Centre, Maroondah City Council, AFL Victoria, Foundation House, Bounce Refugee Mentoring Program, AMES Australia, the Department of Human Services, Centrelink, Migrant Information Centre, OELLEN and Communities’ Council on Ethnic Issues Inc.
The forum includes student workshops about legal rights, employment and strategies for success.
“The forum is all about making informed choices and supporting these young people to be actively involved in their communities,” says Bwe Thay, refugee advocate and project officer from Swinburne.
“We are hearing from migrant students about the challenges they face and what we can do, as an educational institution, to assist them so they can succeed and also feel at home with us,” Mr Thay says.
“As a refugee who fled Burma five years ago in search for a better life for my family, I feel proud to be part of a university that has in place a strong support system for young migrants and refugees.
“Hope is a very important thing for this cohort of students. If they have hope, the possibilities are endless.”
Students will also be entertained by a hip-hop performance and have the chance to participate in a variety of sports, games and activities.
“The support from all of our partners really speaks volumes about what we’re doing here at Swinburne,” Mr Thay says.
The event is one of many ways Swinburne is engaging with migrant and refugee communities.
In partnership with the Refugee Council, Swinburne will offer a workshop for Swinburne staff to help them understand the best ways to support students from migrant and refugee communities.
Swinburne’s taster programs for English Migrant students, introduced in 2014, have also been successful in engaging with young migrants and refugees. Since the first round of taster programs, 18 students have completed their pre-apprenticeships.