MYAN Newsletter October 2013 (copy 04)

Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (Australia)


   eNewsletter October 2013


Welcome to the October edition of the MYAN Australia e-Newsletter - a quarterly bulletin presenting multicultural youth issues through a national lens. 
This edition includes updates from MYAN networks and partners across the country, as well as the latest in multicultural youth project, policy and research information.  

MYAN National Update

The MYAN welcomes new Ministers for settlement and multicultural affairs
With a new Government elected in September, the MYAN welcomes the appointments of The Hon. Kevin Andrews MP, Minister for Social Services, and Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Parliamentary Secretary to the areas of settlement services and multicultural affairs. The MYAN looks forward to working with the new Government to promote the needs and issues young people from multicultural backgrounds around Australia.

Survey on settlement experiences of young humanitarian males aged 18-30
The MYAN is seeking your feedback on the issues, experiences and challenges faced by single young humanitarian males aged 18-30 who have recently arrived in Australia. In recent years, young single males (i.e. those not living in family groups) have occupied an increasingly large share of Australia’s overall humanitarian intake. In consultation with representatives of the settlement sector, including members of the Refugee Resettlement Advisory Council (RRAC), the MYAN and the recently created Department of Social Services is considering the nature of the settlement experiences and possible challenges for this cohort.
Complete the survey via Survey Monkey by 22 November 2013. Your participation in this survey will build on an existing evidence base drawn from the experiences of settlement service providers (surveyed earlier this year) and contribute to policy and programme development in relation to this growing cohort.
For further information contact the MYAN on If you would like a copy of the survey results please register an e-mail address and contact name with

MYAN State and Territory Updates

It’s been a busy few months for MYAN NSW. Over 100 young people from across Western Sydney attended the MYAN NSW young people’s launch event on August 3rd, spending the day taking part in workshops, a BBQ and watching the GWS Giants win a home game at Skoda Stadium!

Multicultural Youth Reps
The Multicultural Youth Reps program was initiated in late August with 8 young people aged 14 to 24 attending an all day session focused on developing advocacy and leadership skills. 

Andrew and two of the Youth Reps - Biyi and Janani - also ran a workshop at the Community Relations Commission’s Youth Leaders Day, speaking to nearly 50 young people about MYAN and the Youth Reps program. Andrew also ran training for youth work volunteers from Hayat House - a project that offers outreach, a drop-in service and referrals for young people from multicultural backgrounds in the Bankstown area.

Humanitarian Youth Arrivals to NSW
MYAN NSW also launched the first ever fact sheet on youth settlement trends in NSW, as well as submissions to inquiries by DIAC on settlement issues in NSW, and to the NSW Department of Communities on the role of the Commissioner for Children and Young People. The Humanitarian Youth Arrivals to NSW FactSheet can be found here.

Multicultural Youth Employment Forum
MYAN NSW is hosting a FREE professional development event for those working with young people from multicultural backgrounds in relation to employment. Click here for more details or contact Andrew Cummings, MYAN NSW Project Manager at

MYAN NT is currently developing a Youth Advisory Group to enable young people of refugee background in Darwin to be involved in driving the development of appropriate multicultural youth activities and have the opportunity to advise on areas of need and concern in their communities. Contact Hannah Pugh-Uren for more details at  

Kaleidoscope: Territory Youth Leadership Summit
MyNT (Multicultural Youth NT), supported by MYAN Australia, brought together 25 young leaders from across the Territory to participate in Kaleidoscope: Territory Youth Leadership Summit in early October. With a focus on the personal and professional development of young leaders in project planning and team building, the 2-day event united young people with a passion for creating positive change for their communities.  Contact Meri at MyNT for more information

Education and youth sector forums
MYAN ACT, in connection with Anglicare Youth Connections ACT, is hosting a series of forums targeting the education and youth sectors on the topic of supporting multicultural young people in education. The last forum was held on 14 August 2013 with training provided by Companion House. The final forum in the series is currently being planned and will hear from young people themselves.

Multicultural Youth Forum
MYAN ACT provided support to Multicultural Youth Services (MYS) ACT for the successful Multicultural Youth Forum in June this year. The forum hosted approximately 60 young people who discussed issues such as education, identity and recreation. A report of the forum will be available soon through the MYAN ACT.

ACT resource bank
The MYAN ACT is continuing work on an ACT resource bank.  The resource bank is designed for workers to quickly find relevant and useful information related to working with multicultural young people. For more information contact MYAN ACT Project Officer, Taryn Morrison at

SA - Multicultural Youth South Australia (MYSA) 
Youth Settlement Action Network (YSAN)

MYSA continues to chair the Youth Settlement Action Network (YSAN), providing the sector with current advice, information and support in service planning, development and implementation. The YSAN recently changed its format from bi-monthly meetings to quarterly issue-based forums, ensuring that the sector has access to timely, relevant information on new and emerging issues affecting their work with young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. The first of these forums was held in September on justice issues.

New resources
MYSA developed two new resources to contribute to improved service standards and practices: (1) Brief Fact Sheet on Unaccompanied Humanitarian Minors and (2) Consultations on issues affecting young Muslim women living in South Australia. For copies of the resources, please contact MYSA on
New research
MYSA and the University of South Australia are currently undertaking research into the key issues and needs of children who frequent the city streets late at night and in the early hours of the morning. The research will provide important information to inform policy and service responses

Statewide Youth Consultations
MYAN QLD has been conducting youth consultations in Brisbane, Logan, Gold Coast, Ipswich as well as 7 regional locations across Queensland. Aiming to engage young people from multicultural backgrounds as experts in their own lives, the consultations provide an opportunity for young people to inform policy makers and practitioners about their key issues of importance.

'Follow My Lead' Multicultural Youth Conference
Building on these consultations, MYAN QLD will be hosting the Follow My Lead Multicultural Youth Leadership Conference in partnership with MYAN Australia on the 5th and 6th November 2013 on the Gold Coast.  The first ever state-wide multicultural youth conference, Follow My Lead aims to build the skills and knowledge of young people in the areas of advocacy, leadership and volunteering. For more details please contact Marida, MYAN QLD Project Officer, on

VIC - Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY)
Our Patch
Our Patch is a new project developed by CMY to support social cohesion in growing communities (Casey and Wyndham). It will work with young people of all backgrounds aged 16 – 25 years old to increase opportunities for inter-cultural connections, increase participation in social and community life and strengthen the leadership capability of young people. This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship through the Empowering Local Communities Program.

Turn Up & Play: The Informal Sport Opportunity
This forum, to be held on November 13, will explore the fact that many young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds actively volunteer within their own communities to recruit, train and organise sporting activities but feel locked outside the formal club system. Speakers include academics, local government and state sporting associations.
Victorian Settlement Youth Network (VSYN)
The VSYN will meet for the first time on 24 October bringing together settlement youth workers across the state. The VSYN aims to identify issues and explore different settlement experiences of young people in Victoria and provide opportunities for professional development and regional partnerships.

New MYAN WA Project Officer
The MYAN WA welcomed a new Project Officer, Ashleigh Haw, in June this year. With Ashleigh on board, the MYAN WA has been working on a number of priorities, including: the establishment of a youth consultation model in WA; a Youth Settlement Forum that will bring together key workers, researchers and other stakeholders  to share information, knowledge and best practice approaches in youth settlement; and the development of a WA Youth Settlement Data Fact Sheet. For more details about these initiatives or the regular MYAN WA network meetings,  contact Ashleigh at

MYAN TAS will be busy over the next 12 months.  In November, MYAN (Australia) Coordinator, Nadine Liddy, will be visiting Tasmania to explore youth settlement issues and good practice with key settlement service providers. We’re hoping this will lead to a greater understanding of the role and activities of MYAN (Australia) and a strengthening of links with MYAN TAS.

As part of developing an active group of young people involved in MYAN TAS, we will be supporting a  leadership course for CALD young people in Hobart early in 2014. Plans are also in place for consultations with service providers and young people during early 2014, which will result in a position paper on newly arrived young people in Tasmania. For more information on MYAN TAS, contact Gillian Long at

Multicultural Youth in Focus
Yai Mario-Ring is a bright, articulate 21 year old Tasmanian who, in a few months will graduate from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Social Science, with majors in sociology and criminology. She’s hoping to join the Tasmanian Police Force and possibly return to university at some stage to complete a Masters in Social Work.

After growing up in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Yai arrived in Tasmania in 2002 with her mother, sisters and cousins. She began school at St Mary’s College as a 9 year old, with little formal education or English.

Although much of Yai’s time is devoted to studying, she also loves sport, particularly basketball and soccer, and is involved in an original theatrical production called Bearing Witness. A multi-layered production involving music, film, dance, song and dialogue, Bearing Witness is derived directly from the stories of harrowing and courageous journeys the actors and their families have undergone to find refuge in Australia.

Yai says the best part of living in Tasmania has been the opportunity to be exposed to good people from many different cultures to have the privilege of an education and University.

Multicultural Youth Project in Focus
Multicultural Youth Services ACT - Drop-in Service
Multicultural Youth Services (MYS) holds a drop-in service each afternoon for young people from a cultural or linguistically diverse background with activities, workshops and computer access available. In response to this service reaching capacity, staff held an informal youth consultation to explore other targeted ways to increase positive social interaction and reduce social isolation, build confidence and self-esteem, improve greater connections with other services providers and increase community participation within the wider Australian community.

An inter-agency pool competition was identified by the young people as a fun and engaging way to achieve these aims. After further consultations with other youth-focused agencies (including Belconnen Community Services and Youth in the City) the competition began during the school holiday period, with young people volunteering to assist with the organisation. Beginning with an 'in-house' competition with fifteen young people from diverse cultural backgrounds, the event culminated in an inter-agency competition, with twenty young people from MYS attending and six young people from the MYS team winning the first and third prizes.
The pool competition was a successful event in building confidence and self-esteem, and assisting young people to identify skills and strengths. It provided a structured opportunity to facilitate social interaction and connections with the wider Australian community. For MYS, it strengthened collaborative ties and improved referral processes with other services with a particular focus on early intervention.

Other National News
NEMBC Youth Conference – Queensland
Held in conjunction with the NEMBC National Conference, the NEMBC Youth Media Conference 2013 will bring together young community broadcasters and those interested in becoming involved in multicultural community broadcasting. Among other things, the conference will include a range of media workshops to improve radio production, presentation and voice training skills and explore the importance of ethnic community radio. More information can be found here.

International Student Access to Pregnancy - Related Care
The Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) has recently released a position paper on International Student Access to Pregnancy-Related Care, highlighting concerns about international students’ rights in relation to informed choice in sexual and reproductive health. The research was conducted through the Female International Student Program and can be accessed here.
Mapping Social Cohesion 2013: The Scanlon Foundation Surveys National Report
This report presents the findings of the sixth Scanlon Foundation Mapping Social Cohesion Survey conducted in 2013. It builds on the knowledge gained through the five earlier Scanlon Foundation surveys conducted in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, providing for the first time in Australia a series of detailed surveys on social cohesion and population issues. It includes discussion of public opinion on social cohesion, trust, immigration, asylum seekers, and ethnic, cultural and religious diversity.  Donwload a copy of the Report here.

Refugee Council of Australia
Annual Intake Submissions and Consultations
Throughout October and November 2013, RCOA will conduct its annual consultations around Australia to seek input to inform its submission to the Minister and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) on Australia’s 2014-15 Refugee and Humanitarian Program. More information about the consultations, including the Discussion Paper, dates for submissions and consultations in your state/territory can be found here.

Bright Ideas Update - Youth Employment Forum Initiative
The latest Bright Ideas brief examines the Youth Employment Forum initiative developed by Brisbane’s Multicultural Development Association. The forum provided an opportunity for young people from a refugee and migrant background to meet employers and better understand how to find work, network and explain the challenges they have in finding employment. Employers also gained a greater appreciation of the skills and talents of young people of refugee background. Find out more about the Forum here.
Copyright © 2013 MYAN

Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (Australia)
304 Drummond St
Carlton, VIC 3231
(03) 9340 3700