May eNews

E-NEWSLETTER Multicultural youth advocacy network (Australia) 
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Welcome to May eNews

Our latest edition features some great media stories about migrant and refugee young people, a story on a groundbreaking new peer mentoring programme and some new resources - so get into it!
And in other recent news,  the 2017 Federal Budget was announced recently. While there are some small investments in initiatives that include youth, on the whole the budget reflects a missed opportunity to invest in young people. MYAN is particularly disappointed that it does not build on last year’s investment in youth employment initiatives in any meaningful way.

“At this time, with high youth unemployment and the expense of higher education, young Australians are in need of a helping hand, particularly those from refugee and migrant backgrounds who often face multiple disadvantage, and this budget does not reflect this,” said MYAN National Coordinator Nadine Liddy.

However, MYAN commends the $40 million over four years to continue several longitudinal studies, including Building a New Life in Australia (BNLA). This is an important study contributing to a much needed evidence-base on settlement outcomes for humanitarian entrants. MYAN looks forward to working with the BNLA team to highlight youth specific findings.

Read our full statement here.

Read a great story in The Guardian on the need to prioritise, not problemetise young people here

Perth for Somalia

Amazing news from the west: 2016 FUSE delegate Nafiso Mohamed  joined forces with fellow Somali youth recently to organise a dinner in Perth which would raise awareness and funds for the droughts currently devastating Somalia.

The largest humanitarian crisis in the history of the UN, the droughts have affected approximately 10 million people.   At last count the group had raised $17,000, and they are hoping to reach $20,000 by May 21 - so inspirational! 

"All the organisers were young people, mostly students, so you can imagine how busy everyone was putting this event together within a month," said Nafiso. "Our goal was to sell 250 tickets - we managed to reach it and exceed it."

In the media

The latest episode of ABC's groundbreaking TV series You Can't Ask That on refugees is essential viewing, especially since it features some fabulous young people: FUSE 2014 delegate Bella Ndayikeze from Perth and Melbourne artist and writer Atong Atem.  Click here to watch on iView.
In another medium, listen to a great Radio National story about Sudanese youth being blamed for gang violence in Melbourne, and the power of sport for disenfranchised youth. Click on the pic.

Peer Mentoring Programme

MYAN NSW has just wrapped up the Refugee Youth Peer Mentoring Project  – an initiative to co-design a mentoring scheme for young people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds, funded by the NSW Government.

 Collaborating directly with young people, the sector, community and government, MYAN NSW hosted a series of interactive participatory design workshops to find out about young people’s strengths and needs, their settlement experiences and how peer mentoring might be used as a tool to help them settle better.
“It felt so empowering to finally be involved in developing and planning a program that is FOR us,” said Youth Ambassador Apajok Biar, who was part of the project design team and helped co-facilitate the workshops. 

Youth Ambassador Hedayat Osyan said:  “It’s so critical to have mentors for newly arrived young people to help them integrate into a new society.”
MYAN NSW Executive Officer Alexandra Long said the project is one of the first of its kind. “Often programs for young people are designed without their input, but it’s essential that we listen to what young people have to say and support them to be part of the solution.”

The next step is for organisations to put the recommendations into action. It is expected that the NSW Government will release a tender in the coming months to deliver the next stage of the peer mentoring program. MYAN NSW collaborated on this project with STARTTS, Navitas, SSI and Western Sydney University.

Mission Australia's Youth Survey

Mission Australia's Youth Survey is the largest survey of its kind in Australia. Government, academics and communities all use it to develop policies and programs for young Australians. The survey has been conducted annually since 2002 and aims to identify both the values and concerns of young people.

If you're 15 to 19 years old, living in Australia and want to have a say about the things that effect you: click here to fill in the survey, and enter the MYAN code 93311. The survey closes on Monday, July 31 2017.

Citizenship Changes

Last month, the Federal government released a discussion paper outlining a suite of proposed reforms to applications for citizenship in Australia.

Among other things, these reforms include the introduction of a more stringent English language test, a longer period of residence before being eligible to apply for citizenship, and the addition of new questions about Australian values.
The government is currently inviting community feedback on the discussion paper, Strengthening the Test for Australian Citizenship, and MYAN Australia in consultation with our partners and stakeholders will be making a formal submission on the proposed changes.

Strengthening Multiculturalism Inquiry

The Senate Select Committee on Strengthening Multiculturalism was established on March 27 this year to inquire into and report on ways of protecting and strengthening Australia’s multiculturalism and social inclusion. Read MYAN's submission to the inquiry here.
In the last 6 months we have seen the Federal Government Inquiries into the Racial Discrimination Act, Strengthening Multiculturalism and Migrant Settlement Outcomes. The Australian Government has also launched it's Multicultural Policy Statement. Given these developments, and the ongoing national conversation around inclusion and diversity, MYAN sees these Inquiries as an opportunity for young people's views and experiences to be shared.

You can read MYAN's recent submissions here: Migrant Settlement Outcomes Inquiry, Racial Discrimination Act Inquiry.


MYAN Australia is pleased to release the 2015/16 Refugee and Migrant Youth Arrivals Information Sheet, complementing the National Snapshot (right).
This resource provides a detailed overview of the young people arriving in Australia through the Migration Programme, 

including where they are settling on arrival and comparisons with groups arriving in the previous five years.

Download the 2015/16 Information Sheet here - information sheets from previous years can be found at 

Fuse 2016 Report

Our FUSE 2016 Report is finally here - find out who came, what happened and what recommendations were made by the fantastic young people involved in this three day summit. Read it here.

UN Special Rapporteur's report on visit to Australia

Last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, released the report of his visit to Australia in November 2016 with 34 recommendations. Download a full copy here.

 The report covers a wide range of issues, including border management, non-refoulement, visa refusals and cancellations, guardianship of unaccompanied children, family reunification, access to citizenship, immigration detention (both in Australia and offshore), the situation of refugee rights defenders, access to justice, labour exploitation, xenophobic speech and discrimination.
In the report, the Rapporteur reiterated his comments regarding the role of civil society organisations working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Australia:

The Special Rapporteur was particularly impressed with the energy, imagination, dedication and commitment of civil society organizations working with migrants — with or without contracts with the Australian authorities — to deliver integration programmes and services to them. Their intimate knowledge of the migrants’ difficult journeys, complex life conditions and numerous aspirations for the future — coming from years of engaging with them — have allowed them to provide a refined analysis, very relevant conclusions and most welcome recommendations regarding changes in policy and practice. The Special Rapporteur urges the Australian authorities to increase funding and material support to such organizations.

NGO Coalition Report

MYAN was proud to contribute to the Review of Australia Fifth Periodic Report under the United Nations’ International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The submission was prepared by the National Association of Community Legal Centres and Kingsford Legal Centre.

The submission highlights areas of ongoing concern as well as improvements, to help assess whether Australia is meeting its obligations under the Covenant with respect to workplace discrimination, young people from migrant, refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds, gender equality and Indigenous Rights, amongst many others. Read it here.

It follows the 25 year review of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) released in 2016. Read it here.

National Multicultural Youth Conference

MYAN Australia, in partnership with University of Melbourne, is hosting a national multicultural youth conference in Melbourne on November 23 & 24, 2017 which will combine research, policy & practice.
Registrations will be open end of May, but in the meantime: Register your interest today
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Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (Australia)
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