Young people of refugee and migrant backgrounds will have access to a range of services following the launch of the first ever specialist multicultural youth organisation in NSW.
The Multicultural Youth Affairs Network (MYAN) NSW will support a targeted approach to meeting the needs of young people of refugee and migrant backgrounds, so they can become active participants in their community. It will assist organisations to better understand these needs and provide formal and informal advice to local, state and federal governments.
About 350,000 young people in NSW are of culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds in NSW. In recognition of the high number of young people settling in NSW, particularly in the Greater Western Sydney area, the Australian Government has provided $285,000 to establish the MYAN NSW.
“Given that NSW is home to the largest population of young people of CaLD background in Australia, it is crucial that there is a targeted approach to meeting their needs,” MYAN NSW Acting Executive Officer Andrew Cummings said.
“The broader issues confronting these young people often reflect those faced by Australian-born young people; finishing school, getting a job. However, this is where the similarity ends as they commonly face additional and more complex transitions and have particular needs.”
The MYAN NSW will also be supported by other community organisations with expertise in refugee and migrant settlement, young people and sport. These organisations include the Greater Western Sydney Giants, Youth Action, STARTTS, St George Youth Service, Marrickville City Council and the Centre for Multicultural Youth, as well as young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds themselves. Representatives from these organisations will become founding members of the MYAN NSW Board.
GWS Giants Community Engagement Manager Ali Faraj will become the inaugural chair of the MYAN NSW.
“My role with the AFL and Greater Western Sydney GIANTS is to build links with new communities including young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds so we’re really pleased to be supporting the work of the MYAN NSW,” Mr Faraj said.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said the Australian Government was committed to a national approach to youth settlement and funding for the MYAN NSW would support this.
“Welcoming and helping new arrivals take part in our way of life is a critical investment in our future. It helps to build a prosperous, socially cohesive nation,” she said.
The MYAN NSW was launched on Thursday, 4 December 2014 at the Courtyard, Riverside Theatres, corner of Church and Market Streets Parramatta, at 9.45am.