In summary

  • A new Swinburne-led project will help inspire and support Pasifika youth as they follow new careers paths 
  • The program has received $791,159 in Federal Government funding through the Safer Communities Fund
  • 120 Pasifika secondary students participate in a series of four-day masterclasses, based on Google Venture Design Sprint model

A new Swinburne-led project will help inspire and support Pasifika youth as they follow new careers paths across design, media innovation, sport, STEM and the hydrogen economy.

In partnership with the National Rugby League (NRL) and the Centre for Multicultural Youth, the multi-year Sa'ili le ala program will engage parents, communities, educators and young people to create an inspiring peer-mentored and expert-supported environment to get hands-on experience across a range of next generation career options.

The program has received $791,159 in Federal Government funding through the Safer Communities Fund.

Speaking at the funding announcement, Swinburne’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pascale Quester said the program was a perfect demonstration of the transformative power of education for young people.

“Swinburne is proud to be part of creating the next generation of Pasifika leaders, thinkers, innovators, creators and entrepreneurs,” Professor Quester said.

“By developing a lifelong learning mindset, this program will create potentially life-changing opportunities for these young people and the communities they are a part of.”

Career paths of the future

Sa’ili le ala will see 120 Pasifika secondary students participate in a series of four-day masterclasses, based on Google Venture Design Sprint model.

Working with youth leaders from the NRL, Centre for Multicultural Youth and Swinburne, students will develop skills and knowledge in creative arts and technologies with Swinburne’s design and media innovation team and the Victorian Hydrogen Hub.

Students will leave the program with a portfolio of creative works that reflects the skills and perspectives they have developed which can be used for further study or career opportunities.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Professor Karen Hapgood said the collaborative approach – working with the community and co-designing solutions – would ensure that the initiative had a lasting impact.

“By utilising Swinburne’s strengths in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, this program is a perfect demonstration of how people and technology can come together to create a better world,” Professor Hapgood said.

“I want to congratulate the strong interdisciplinary team across education, creative arts, technology, STEM and psychology, who are bringing this project to life, and thank the Federal Government for their generous support.”

The new project will build on research Swinburne commenced last year, which is engaging broadly across research, education, policy and the welfare sector to understand the cultural complexities driving Pasifika youth interactions with Australian educational processes, and co-design sustainable and scalable practice.

The Swinburne team is led by Professor Sivanes Phillipson, and includes Dr Maryanne Pale, Jason Rogers, Associate Professor Stephane Shepherd, Dr Wendy Goff, Professor Susanne Garvis, Associate Professor Nicky Wragg, Dr Steven Murdoch, Dr Darren Fisher, Associate Professor Narelle Lemon, and Associate Professor Therese Keane.

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