March eNews

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Welcome to MYAN’s March eNewsletter. This comes to you amidst unprecedented global events, as the impact of COVID-19 rapidly evolves for all of us. We know that this crisis is affecting every one of us and in particular, those most disadvantaged in our communities. We will be working to understand and respond to the impact on young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds across Australia, as well as ensuring that the sectors working with them are supported to adapt and continue their critical work. 
To this end, we will be convening a number of online meetings in the coming week, engaging with young people and the sector  – see below for more details and stay tuned for updates.
We will also be continuing our work through online connections – as we always have. This includes connecting with young people across the country, including our Youth Ambassadors, and highlighting the voices of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds in the current context; sharing resources and initiatives, progressing our policy and advocacy work in consultation with young people, the sector, and government; and running online forums as part of our capacity building work. Read on for some good news stories about young leaders, opportunities and resources.
Stay safe. The MYAN team   - Nadine, Shannon, Mehak and Andrew
Translated resources
Translated posters & guides - Red Cross has a guide with clear simple steps including a translated poster in over 15 different languages.

Translated materials on COVID-19 - SCOA - Settlement Council of Australia has translated resources including state-specific links.

Translated materials on COVID-19 - RCOA - Refugee Council of Australia has refugee and asylum seeker specific resources along with links to economic support.

For organisations

How to cope with stress related to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - A live and evolving document from Democracy in Colour. This resource is intended for organisers and campaigners looking for ways to lead an anti-racist and intersectional response.

For young people

How to cope with stress related to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Headspace have developed a resource specific for young people affected by stress related to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Connecting the Sector
In addition to consultations with young people and our partners, MYAN is hosting a national online meeting to hear from the sector about the impact of CIVD-19 on young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, and initiatives/responses to best support them, their families and communities.

When: 12pm, Monday 30th March 
Where: Zoom (details to be shared)
Young People Leading the Way

Education Council Youth Forum, Department of Education/COAG Education Council,
Wagga Wagga

From left standing: Zenab, Elshima, Brutukan, Ayriane, Reza, Patient, Ariana, Ester.
From left sitting: Mostafa, Harpreet.
Young people from M
YAN's networks at the Youth Forum in Wagga Wagga.
The Education Council Review of senior secondary pathways into work, further education and training Review Panel hosted a youth forum in Wagga Wagga on Tuesday, 10 March.  The Review Panel has been looking at how senior secondary education is preparing young people for diverse pathways to further learning and work so that students are better supported to make decisions about life beyond school. The forum brought together 50 young people from across Australia, including 12 young people from MYAN’s networks,  to share their perspectives on:
  • What might help students demonstrate their broader skills, capabilities and experience when leaving school, in addition to their academic results?
  • How could students best supported with effective career advice and planning?
  • How well are students supported based on their individual needs?
MYAN was delighted to be involved in the youth forum and thanks the Australian government for valuing the diverse voices of young Australians in the review process.

The Review Panel, chaired by Prof. Peter Shergold, are due to provide the COAG Education Council with advice and recommendations in June.

Annual Coalition Meeting and Child Aware 2020

(From Left) Hamani, Mehak, Cassandra and Will at the Annual Coalition and Child Aware Meeting in Melbourne. Image source @familiesaust
Mehak Sheikh, MYAN's Youth Leadership Officer, was invited to be part of the Youth Panel at Families Australia's Annual Coalition and Child Aware Meeting 2020 on Tuesday, 10 March.

The panel was an opportunity for attendees to hear directly from young people and Mehak brought the perspectives of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds to the dialogue on youth voice in policy and practice. The topics including discussing how the sector can strengthen and give due regard to the voices of children and young people in national policy, program design and implementation.

Partner News

Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY)
Annual Report 2018-19

Our partner organisation CMY has had a fantastic year doing great work with young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Read about the impact and work of CMY in their recently published Annual Report here.

Good News Story

Stirling Hinchcliffe MP, Cameron Dick MP and young people from MyQ, including Mary Harm (pictured far right), at Parliament House. Source: MyQ Facebook
Exciting future for Multicultural Youth Queensland (MyQ)

State Ministers Stirling Hinchcliffe MP and Cameron Dick MP invited MyQ Council to a roundtable discussion on Thursday, 20 February at Queensland Parliament House. Mary Harm, MyQ Council member and MYAN Australia’s Queensland Youth Ambassador, shared a compelling speech on behalf of the group about MyQ’s vision to reach young people in regions across Queensland and create a bigger network for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. This will help MyQ to share young people’s stories and challenges from across QLD, as well as ‘share a seat at the table’ when it comes to decision making and planning in Government. 

Spotlight on MYAN’s Youth Ambassadors Network (YAN) – WA

Meet Zahra, YAN representative from WA
Who is Zahra Al Hilaly?
I am a 19-year-old from Perth, and the proud daughter of refugees and immigrants from Iraq and Palestine. I am currently studying a double degree in Law and Journalism, with aspirations to one day work in the refugee law sector, to bring justice to the issues and struggles my parents endured.

What sparks a fire in you, and why?
One of the first things I will do every morning is greet my parents with the Arabic salutation 'Salam Alaykum’ - which translates to ‘peace be upon you.’ It’s that moment that I get my daily reminder that it was only years ago that my parents were fighting for peace. In essence, the word ‘Salam’ drives a fire in me. It is a perpetual reminder that there are over 60 million forcibly displaced people in this world, who are fighting for not only peace, but for their lives. My religion, Islam, has taught me that everyone is my brother and sister, so it’s no longer the fight for the hardships my parents endured, but for my brothers and sisters that are still fighting today.

What are you hoping to achieve in 2020 as YAN’s WA representative?
I’ve lived by the quote “Youth are not the future, we are the present” for a while now. I hope to help mobilise more young people, especially people of colour, to become the leaders that they are destined to become. I also hope to take an intersectional approach when shining the light on youth voices. It’s time to stop narrowing young people into one box, and start recognising that there are SO many voices that aren’t being given the platform they deserve.
Read Zahra's full interview


The Social Distancing Festival is an online artist’s community made to celebrate and showcase the work of the many artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing that has come about due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Live streams are available along with open submissions for artists. Learn more at:

Research Opportunity


Review of Age of Criminal Responsibility is a joint submission from the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition,  Youth Affairs Council Victoria, MYAN, and other state and territory-based youth peak bodies across Australia to raise the age of legal criminal responsibility from 10 years to 14. #RaiseTheAge
Launched by Australia’s Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, the Children’s Rights Report 2019 is one of the most comprehensive assessments of children’s rights ever produced in Australia. Among a range of targeted recommendations to better strengthen and protect children’s rights in Australia, including around mental health, the report calls on the Federal Government to develop a National Plan for Child Wellbeing and to appoint a Cabinet level Minister with responsibility for children’s issues at the national level.
Enhancing the Educational Outcomes for South Sudanese Refugee Youth: Laying the Groundwork for International Comparative Research -  A study carried out by advocacy group Orygen outlines the mental health risks of young African migrants including adapting to a new country and the experience of seeking asylum or discrimination. Young immigrants from Africa living in Australia are 10 times more likely to develop psychosis than Australian-born youth.
Parent and Family Engagement Implementation Guide - ARACY has developed and released a practical guide to help Australian schools work more closely with parents and families for the benefit of their students. Adopting a strong culture of relationship-based engagement means seeking to engage with every family and their child. No two families are the same, which means ensuring that any opportunity for meaningful engagement both sensitively and respectfully values all aspects of diversity including cultural background.
Race inequality in the workforce - This report reveals persistent issues around the relationships between employment, ethnicity and mental health and underlines enduring inequalities in the workplace between ethnic groups. It presents recommendations for actions – for government, for mental health services and for employers.

Welcome Andrew to the MYAN staff team!

MYAN is excited to welcome Andrew Duong to the MYAN team, as our new Media and Communications Officer. Andrew will be playing a lead role in coordinating all MYAN’s comms activities.
Andrew has a background in comms and marketing in the not-for-profit sector and in the community arts space in Melbourne’s south-east. He is on the Arts Advisory Board for City of Greater Dandenong and the committee as a Grants Writer for Connection Arts Space – predominantly a youth-led arts space in Dandenong. Andrew is passionate about all things creative, including painting, as well as soccer and food.

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