December eNews

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Welcome to MYAN's December eNews, our final newsletter for the year. From us to you, have a safe and happy holidays. We look forward to an even bigger and better 2019 in areas of research, policy, advocacy and sector development for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds and those who work with them. 

Read on to catch up on the latest news from young leaders,  national news and activities, national and international policy, updates in the media, upcoming opportunities, and useful resources.

News from young leaders 

MYAN Youth Ambassadors Meet in Melbourne

Over the first weekend of December, six representatives from the Youth Ambassadors Network (YAN) met in Melbourne for a 2-day training and FUSE planning meeting. This is the second time that the YAN had met since the commencement of their roles, celebrating one year of being involved in the Network. The Youth Ambassadors spent their time engaging in facilitation and project management training provided by the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) and had the opportunity to practice their facilitation skills on topics they care about. They spent the second day planning the FUSE National Multicultural Youth Summit 2019, planning for the roles they will play at the summit and getting creative. 

We concluded the 2-day meeting with circle reflections about the YAN’s experience thus far in their roles and direction for the future, with all left energised and excited for what is next. 

Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Human Rights Winner announced

MYAN had the pleasure of attending the AHRC Human Rights Awards night during Australian Human Rights Week with two outstanding nominees, MYAN Youth Ambassadors Narayan Khanal and Apajok Biar (MYAN NSW). MYAN congratulates Narayan and Apajok on their nominations as Young People's Human Rights Awards finalists, and congratulates Saxon Mullins who was named the award winner for her outstanding contribution to advancing human rights in Australia.

Pictured: Narayan Khanal and Apajok Biar, Young People's Human Rights Awards Finalists 

National News 

Review into integration, employment and settlement outcomes

Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week announced an Independent Inquiry into the integration, employment and settlement outcomes for refugees and humanitarian entrants in Australia, to be chaired by Professor Peter Shergold. MYAN welcomes the announcement and looks forward to contributing to the inquiry, building on our ongoing work with young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, and with the settlement and youth sectors. You can find the terms of reference of the inquiry here and an article about the review here.

Working with young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds: Applying the National Youth Settlement Framework in mainstream services - webinar now available online 

Working with young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds: Applying the National Youth Settlement Framework in mainstream services webinar presentation is now available for streaming, as well as a written transcript. Find the supporting resources here.  

The webinar is presented by MYAN's Acting National Coordinator, Andrew Cummings and MYAN TAS' Multicultural Youth Tasmania (MYT) Program Team Leader, Sally Thompson in collaboration with Child Family Community Australia (Australian Institute of Family Studies). 

The webinar which live streamed in late November had around 250 attendees representing 99 organisations across Australia. 90% of attendees who filled the post-webinar survey rated the webinar as good or excellent. 

MYAN Farewells Senior Policy Officer, Peter Kellock
MYAN would like to thank Peter Kellock for his dedication to the role of Senior Policy Officer of MYAN over the past years. Among working on a number of crucial policy, research and collaborative projects, Peter has been integral to the establishment and development of the Youth Transition Support Services during his time with MYAN. 

We thank Peter for his enthusiasm and achievements in his role with MYAN and wish him all the best for the future. 


Wrap up of the Education Pathways National Teleconference

The national teleconference, Exploring Education Pathways for Young People Seeking Asylum and Young Refugees on TPVs and SHEVs MYAN has been co-convening with RCOA since 2015 came to an end in 2018. The sub-group of Refugee Education Special Interest Group (SIG) had its final meeting in November 2018 after three years of quarterly meetings focusing on different aspects for young people’s access to education.

MYAN thanks all members and supporters of the sub-group, and will continue to work with Refugee Education Special Interest Group (SIG) and other stakeholders to advocate for increased access to education by young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.

National Policy 

Submission on new visa cancellation legislation 

MYAN made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for Inquiry on Migration Amendment (Strengthening the Character Test) Bill 2018. MYAN has been concerned about the presentation of the Bill to and by the media as legislation targeting young people under 18 following a similar damaging political discourse in Victoria last year. MYAN will continue to work with partners in this field for consideration of individual circumstances of young people in such processes and to advocate alternative measures for young people within Australia’s youth justice system in line with demonstrated evidence on the transitionary nature of youth crime and successful practices of rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel final report
MYAN welcomes the final report of the Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel which conducted a review on the Future of Employment Services earlier in the year. The final report, I want to work, while not focusing on young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, endorses the points raised in MYAN’s submission to the Panel.  The report makes recommendations for future employment services post-2020 to increase support to vulnerable job seekers, including young people. Recommendations include provision of personalised services for job seekers and user friendly services, and focus on preparing jobseekers to become job ready and keep their job.
International Policy 

UN affirms Global Compact on Refugees 

MYAN welcomes the news that 181 States have agreed to an historic Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) this week, committing to shared responsibility through a global refugee response. You can watch a video by UNHCR explaining what the GCR is here

MYAN made submissions to UNHCR commenting on various drafts of the GCR and is pleased to see the ongoing focus on youth in the adopted text of the Compact.  

In the Media 

National Youth Commission into Youth Employment and Transitions

The National Youth Commission into Youth Employment and Transitions was initiated recently with a two year inquiry process and a final report no later than July 2020. The Commission which will consist of a panel of distinguished Australians including young people will look into various issues such as changes in the labour market, educational curriculum and programs as preparation for future employment, the effectiveness of existing policies and programs that are directly relevant to the transition from school to work. You can find the terms of reference here and the Commission website here.
MYAN concerned over increases to welfare waiting periods for migrants 

MYAN is concerned about new legislation increasing waiting times for migrants to qualify for welfare support, creating additional barriers for newly arrived migrants, especially young people, trying to settle and build a life in Australia. MYAN's Chair, Carmel Guerra expressed concern in an interview with SBS over these changes, along with other leaders in multicultural community and advocacy groups, stating the changes in legislation could limit the ability of young people to participate to their fullest potential in community life. 

However, MYAN welcomes the move from the Parliament not to include 115 (Remaining Relative) and 117 (Orphan Relative) visa holders from these new waiting periods. MYAN has been advocating to bring the issues young people on 115 and 117 visas face to the attention of policy makers, due to already existing waiting periods. MYAN made a submission and submitted additional information to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee earlier in 2018, with a focus on this legislation.


MYAN Chair and CMY CEO, Carmel Guerra responds to Senator's speech

MYAN Chair and CMY CEO, Carmel Guerra joined Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi and activist Tim Lo Surdo on SBS Radio recently in expressing concern over Senator David Leyonhjelm's comments in Parliament.

Carmel said such comments were unhelpful because they "placed people on the basis of the colour of their skin and not on the basis of their contribution to society". Carmel went on to invite Senator Leyjonhelm to "meet some of the young people we work with who contribute to every aspect of Australian life." Listen to the full interview here.


Applications for FUSE 2019
are OPEN!

To join MYAN and other like-minded young leaders at FUSE 2019, network with public figures and decision makers and learn invaluable skills in leadership, advocacy and community organising, apply between 2 November 2018 and 6 January 2019. FUSE 2019 will be held in Melbourne on 15th-17th April. See MYAN's website for more details and join MYAN's Space for Youth on Facebook to stay updated! 

Institute for Peace & Dialogue International Summer Programs 2019 

Institute for Peace & Dialogue (IPD) is one of the leading organiser of several successful annual international academic trainings and research programs in Switzerland in the field of peacebuilding, conflict transformation, mediation, leadership, security, intercultural dialogue and human rights. IPD are now taking applications for the next International Summer Programs for 2019. Find more information here.
Refugee Alternatives Conference 2019

Registrations are open for the Refugee Alternatives Conference 2019, as well as applications to volunteer at the event. Over the course of the two days, participants from refugee backgrounds, academia, service provision, advocacy, policymaking, government and engaged individuals come together to collaborate and discuss policy and practice. The Refugee Alternatives Conference will be held on 19 & 20 February 2019 in South Australia. 

National Youth Homelessness Conference 2019

Next year, the National Youth Homelessness Conference 2019, organised by Youth Development Australia, will be the first national homelessness conference focussed on youth in Australia in 20 years. This conference will look at what has or hasn’t happened to address youth homelessness in the past 10 years, what the sector have learnt works, what reforms are required and the development of an agenda that can be advocated to Governments. 

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Survey

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) is conducting a survey to get a better understanding of different communities’ awareness and experience with PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) to inform a new education campaign. People who are currently living in Australia, 18 years or older, HIV negative or who don’t know their HIV status, and are currently not taking PrEP, are invited to complete the survey. The organisation is particularly interested in hearing from migrant and CALD communities. Take the survey here


The Scanlon Foundation recently released the findings of the eleventh Scanlon Foundation Mapping Social Cohesion Survey 2018. This report provides, for the first time in Australia, a series of detailed surveys on social cohesion and population issues. A prime objective of the surveys is to further understanding of the social impact of Australia’s increasingly diverse immigration program.

Mission Australia has released the Youth Survey Report 2018. This year, young people identified mental health, alcohol and drugs and equity and discrimination as the three most important issues in Australia today. The Youth Survey 2018 also included new questions to explore young people’s perceptions surrounding any barriers that may impact upon them finding work and moving out of home in the future, as well as questions about their values, work/study goals, activities and wellbeing. 
The Department of Human Services has updated their Recently arrived in Australia brochure accessible from the department’s website Information in your language and Information in your language for community organisations pages. The brochure is available in 10 languages: Arabic, Assyrian, Burmese, Chaldean, Dari, Karen, Nepali, Persian (Farsi), Swahili and Tigrinya. 
Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) has released Intimate partner violence in Australian refugee communities: Scoping review of issues and responses. This paper looks at what is currently known about intimate partner violence in Australian refugee communities, and what service providers can do to ensure appropriate support is available to this client group.
The research, People seeking asylum in Australia: Access & support in higher education provides a nationwide map of the policies and practices affecting people seeking asylum and is the first of its kind to evaluate university and community supports for these students. The findings highlight that people seeking asylum face complex and specific challenges and barriers to higher education access and enrolment. 
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