The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact on us all in diverse ways, with changes to social distancing requirements over the last few weeks opening up more access to public spaces and a return for some to education, training and workplaces across Australia.
We have continued to engage with young people and the sector across the country and know that everyone continues to adapt - and for many young people, the public health imperatives have magnified existing access and equity barriers. We have also heard from service providers about the importance of learning from young people about how best to overcome these barriers and adapt service delivery, so that the enormous disruptions to young people’s lives, and the additional pressures many are facing, are minimised.
There’s a lot going on!
Read on to learn more about our work, including our national youth-led video project, national sector meetings, policy work, news from our state/territory partners and to read the latest news and resources relevant to young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. And don’t forget to utilise MYAN’s COVID-19 webpage, where you find our (regularly updated) National Resources Library, ‘Day ion the Life’ youth voices videos and media articles.
Stay safe and well.
The MYAN team - Nadine, Shannon, Mehak and Andrew
Videos of young people across Australia sharing their story during COVID-19
MYAN is really excited to share our ‘A Day in the Life’ video series, amplifying the voices of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds around Australia as they navigate the implications of COVID-19 on their daily lives.
Young people have told us that they want to see the voices of young people at the forefront of discussions on the COVID-19 pandemic, and were prepared to put themselves forward to counter negative and inaccurate stereotypes about young people. The videos were developed by young people (including some who’d never before made or edited a video!) and share their real narratives of staying safe and healthy, and supporting each other, their families and communities during this time.
This week is National Reconciliation Week. At its heart, reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.
MYAN recognises the importance of strengthening the relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As an advocacy body, working in partnership with young people from refugee and migrant background we recognise these relationships plays a critical role in ensuring all young people are supported, valued and can realise their enormous potential in Australia.
We encourage you to post virtual Acknowledgement of Country and share using the hashtags #InThisTogether2020 #NRW2020
MYAN has released a COVID-19 Policy Platform identifying seven priority areas for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
We are calling for targeted approaches in policy and service delivery in:
Employment, Income Support, Education, Digital Access, Mental Health, Family Violence and Racism, Discrimination and Youth Justice.
Targeted, specialist approaches are essential to ensure that young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds are safe, healthy and connected throughout this pandemic, and to mitigate the massive disruptions to economic, social, and civic participation now and into the future.
This Policy Platform is designed to highlight key concerns, provide recommendations for addressing them and inform our ongoing advocacy work and the advocacy work of others in the sector, at the national and state/territory levels.
Submission to the SELECT COMMITTEE ON COVID-19 INQUIRY INTO THE GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Centre for Multicultural Youth and MYAN prepared a joint submission to the Select Committee on COVID-19 Inquiry into the Government’s Response to COVID-19. The submission is national in scope and has a focus on young people (aged 12-24) from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
This Inquiry is an important opportunity to provide direct feedback about the impact of the Federal Government’s response on young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, including migrant workers, international students, refugees on temporary protection visas and asylum seekers on (temporary) Bridging visas. The submission has a focus on the Australian Government’s response up to mid-May 2020 in 6 key areas of concern: public health Information, income support, employment, digital access, racism and discrimination and mental health. Our principal concern is that the initial government response to COVID-19 did not adequately meet the needs of all members of the Australian community, including young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
Thanks to all of you who joined our latest National meeting on Wednesday 13th May and shared your knowledge, practice and resources. These regular meetings are important opportunities for national cross-sector networking and information-sharing, with dynamic discussions about the impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on young people and innovative solutions. Our latest national meeting was attended by over 85 people from across Australia and structured around themed ‘breakout rooms’ on: Mental health, Youth justice, Training/Employment, Education, Settlement.
This approach enabled targeted discussion on newly emerging issues/concerns and best practice, along with opportunities for peer to peer connection and support. These breakout rooms also provided an avenue to share examples of innovative practice-including the development of audio-visual materials, harnessing the enthusiasm of volunteers, and new approaches to work experience- within the sector, highlighting the resilience not only of service providers but also of the young people we work with.
Based on overwhelmingly positive feedback, MYAN will continue to host these meetings provide a platform for different sector experts to connect and share, and help inform national advocacy work.
MYAN will continue to host regular national meetings, with the next one scheduled for Wednesday 3 June, 12 pm - 2 pm. RSVP below:
Last month the MYAN WA ran a survey to gain an insight into the current experiences and impact of COVID-19 on CaLD young people in Western Australia. Simultaneously, the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia (YACWA) also ran a survey assessing the impacts of COVID-19 on young people in Western Australia. The findings of both surveys have been consolidated into an infographic for government and services to use to better engage with CaLD young people at this time.
MYAN NSW Submission to the Labor’s Multicultural Engagement Taskforce (LMET)
MAYN NSW made a submission to the Labor’s Multicultural Engagement Taskforce (LMET). The submission makes general recommendations on the broader role of the Commonwealth government in securing a more inclusive society and economy, particularly in relation to young people aged 12-25 from refugee and migrant backgrounds, their communities and the youth and multicultural sectors across NSW.
This submission was informed by MYAN NSW’s recent Nationhood, National Identity and Democracy consultation (September 2019) where input was collected from 26 young people from diverse cultural backgrounds.
These recent articles highlight the significant short and long-term challenges of COVID-19 for Australia's young people and their families, including those from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
Calls to cut immigration often ignore Australia's economic and social reality This week, the Federal Opposition's spokeswoman on immigration and home affairs, Kristina Keneally, kicked off the latest instalment, with an opinion piece calling for our post-COVID-19 migration program to be changed because the size and shape of our intake "has hurt many Australian workers
It is not time to close the door to migrants, but embrace multiculturalism.
Young people and the effects of COVID-19 "The current generation of youth, who has only known life in times of economic, environmental and social precarity, is also adaptable, resilient and perhaps more at ease with change and unpredictability that is so unsettling for many," - Professor Anita Harris, Research Professor at Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, on the CRIS blog.
This research seeks to understand the context in which forced marriage occurs in Australia-from the perspective of young women. The first phase of data collection is individual interviews with young women aged 16-30 years old who have either experienced a forced marriage, or, who have been at risk of a forced marriage. All participation is strictly confidential, and the results will be reported anonymously. Individuals who wish to participate will be offered a $30.00 gift-card.
Takeover Melbourne is a new initiative that creates a powerful platform for young Melburnians to be heard. We're calling on high school students (and those outside formal education aged 12-18) to share a story about their life and submit it to the Takeover Melbourne Competition. Entries are open now. Competition winners will work with ABC producers to have their story featured on ABC TV, radio or online. Entries close 27 June 2020.
The Mission Australia Youth Survey is Australia’s largest online youth survey, providing a platform for young people aged 15 to 19 to ‘speak up’ about the issues that really concern them. Click on 'Take the Survey' in the link and please add this unique code at the start of the survey - 76612
Translated audio files
Translated audio files in 12 languages about Centrelink payment and access options and Economic Support Payments and Coronavirus Supplement are available on our sound cloud playlist. COVID-19 resources for community groups
ere, you will find an e-kit to help organisations promote our payments and services to their communities. Youtube channel Short English videos with topics such as How to claim a Centrelink payment, COVID-19 payments explained, JobKeeper Payment explained, JobSeeker Payment explained, How FIS can help during the coronavirus, and Creating a myGov account.
WHO’s Operation Toolbox COVID-19
The information in the Toolbox (available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian) is intended to support prison administrators and staff in their efforts to prevent COVID-19 from entering the prison and mitigate the impact in case of an outbreak.