Swinburne University of Technology student Lucky Setunga has produced a podcast discussing the challenges refugees and asylum seekers face in starting afresh, as well as highlighting the resources and avenues available for these individuals to access education.
Lucky’s podcast, Others Matter was born out of a class assignment that challenged her to delve into issues of racism in society.
“I decided to explore the challenges faced by refugees and asylum seekers, to try and understand the hurdles they face in starting afresh in a new country and charting a path forward,” says Lucky.
Through her conversations with various people, Lucky found an underlying theme of how empowering education can be in helping build a brighter future. This formed the basis of her podcast and her conversations with her guests.
A former news presenter, Lucky is now studying a Bachelor of Arts at Swinburne. She chose to explore this issue through a podcast as it allows for deeper conversations and a chance to flesh out complex issues.
Her guests on the podcast included four people: Anglicare Victoria Team Leader and South Sudanese Australian Academic Society Inc co-founder Andrew Gai, Swinburne Refugee and Asylum Seeker Project Coordinator Susan Oldham, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) Community Organiser Sajeeda Saama and ASRC Asylum Seeker Vocational Education Training (ASVET) Coordinator Ruby Foleta.
An asylum seeker himself, Andrew recounts his experience of leaving his home country of Sudan for Australia and the challenges he faced in building a new life here.
“Andrew is my real-life hero, listening to him share his experience of starting over in a new country was inspiring and I hope others feel the same when they hear his story,” says Lucky.
Susan talks about the avenues available for individuals with refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds to access education, including Swinburne's Welcome Scholarship. Started in 2017, these scholarships are continuing to change lives and offer students a chance to pursue their academic goals.
“In researching pathways to education for refugees and asylum seekers, I was so pleased to find that I didn’t have to look far. Swinburne’s Welcome Scholarship has been invaluable in providing many students access to education,” Lucky adds.
Sajeeda explains the resources and support available at the ASRC, as well as the role the organisation plays in advocating for refugees and asylum seekers and their right to access education. Also from the ASRC, Ruby discusses about pathways to vocational education through the ASVET program and how it is helping asylum seekers and refugees rebuild their lives.
“The work being done at the ASRC to help refugees and asylum seekers is amazing. I hope my conversations with Sajeeda and Ruby shines a light on the resources available for those needing a helping hand,” Lucky explains.
Others Matter is online now – listen below.