Read on to learn more about what we’ve been up to in our policy, sector development and youth leadership work, including our Education Briefing Paper, Data Snapshot on Youth Arrivals, new MYAN staff, Youth-led Panel on Disability,Women at Risk (VISA 204) event, and news and resources from the sector.
Stay safe and well.
The MYAN team - Nadine, Shannon, Swathi and Andrew
National Education Roundtable - Briefing Paper
This Briefing Paper provides an overview of the barriers to equitable access and engagement in primary and secondary education experienced by students from refugee and migrant backgrounds in Australia. It also highlights how COVID-19 has exacerbated these barriers.
This paper provides a point in time identification of educational issues faced by students, families, and educators/schools that limit the full participation of children and young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
The paper has been prepared by the National Educational Roundtable, a cross-sector national network hosted by MYAN and Foundation House.
Data Snapshot -Youth Arrivals 2019-20
MYAN has developed a national snapshot on youth arrivals aged 12-24 from family, skilled and humanitarian programme streams, using the latest data from the Department of Home Affairs. The snapshot includes information on a range of demographic data, including age, gender, religion, language and settlement location. Key points from the snapshot include:
As a result of the Australian Governments COVID-19 response, the number of refugees resettled to Australia decreased in 2019-2020 due to a suspension on the granting of offshore Humanitarian visas.
Young people aged 12-24 continue to represent a significant percentage of humanitarian entrants to Australia-in 2019-20, young people aged 12-24 made up 29.5% of this group.
49% of young humanitarian entrants were of high-school age (12-17).
Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Syrian Arab Republic, and Myanmar were the top five countries of birth for young people arriving under the Humanitarian Program in 2019-20.
Young people aged 12-24 arriving under the family stream made up 43% of all youth arrivals to Australia.
New South Wales and Victoria continue to settle the largest numbers of young people- 61% of young people from all the migration streams in 2019-20.
Farewell Mehak and welcome Swathi!
MYAN Youth Leadership and Advocacy Officer
L to R: Mehak and Swathi
Last month we farewelled Mehak Sheikh, MYAN's Youth Leadership Officer, who has been in this role since its creation in 2017. We’d like to thank Mehak for her contributions to MYAN and CMY.
Mehak brought an unwavering and passionate commitment to social justice and raising the voices of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. She has played a pivotal role in shaping MYAN’s Youth Ambassadors Network (YAN) and delivering FUSE in 2017 and 2019.
Mehak has left a wonderful legacy and we wish her all the very best. We would also like to welcome to the role Swathi Shanmukhasundaram!
Swathi was previously MYAN’s Youth Ambassador from Victoria. You may have seen Swathi on our National COVID-19 Youth Panel or other MYAN events. Swathi also works with CMY on Young Initiators and ABC’s Takeover Melbourne project. She is also the founder of The Vermillion Project, a social enterprise that promotes the social and economic participation of people with menstrual health conditions and invisible illnesses.
Swathi is already busy with a number of exciting initiatives, so look out for updates soon!
Welcome to the team Swathi!
Cultural Identity and Disability: Diverse Perspectives from Young People
Join MYAN's National Youth Panel on Monday 30 November 12:00 pm - 1:45 pm AEDST led by young people from diverse cultural backgrounds with lived experience of disability. Cindy, Grace, Markos, Varsha and Ash will be sharing their perspectives on cultural identity and disability as young people.
The event will begin with a panel discussion followed by Q&A.
Valuable Insights Shared at the Women at Risk (VISA 204) National Meeting
On Wednesday, 28 October MYAN hosted a national meeting to better understand the settlement context and needs of young people (12-24) arriving in Australia under the 204 Visa (Women at Risk) program.
The discussion focused on the particular settlement challenges, gaps, and service responses/good practice with young people. The findings will inform a MYAN Briefing paper that highlights service gaps, good practice, and solutions to ensure that young people arriving under the 204 Visa receive the support they need for successful settlement.
We had three guest speakers to start the discussion:
Dr. Helen Merrick, Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania (MRCT) Helen discussed her research through MRCT, investigating the social cohesion of Women at Risk families. Amanda Lee, Migration Council of Australia (MCA)
Amanda shared work MCA is doing in examining the Women at Risk program (204 visa) through a lens of gender-responsive settlement in Australia. Kate Lonergan, MYAN
MYAN’s student on placement from ACU, Kate provided a youth-lens to examine settlement experiences of those arriving in Australia via the Women at Risk program.
During the event we also shared a brief snapshot (now updated) of some data sourced from the Department of Home Affairs, presenting a demographic profile of young people arriving in Australia on 204 visas during the last financial year.
If you would like to share experiences of your own work with this group of young people, please contact Kate Lonergan at firstname.lastname@example.org
National Education Panel
On Wednesday, 4th November MYAN hosted a National Education Panel to discuss the national implications of COVID-19 on students from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
Our expert panel represented diverse sectors and perspectives across research, policy and programming, with a national, state and local lens.
Julie Sonnemann - Grattan Institute
Dr Sue Creagh - University of Queensland
Hala Ramadan - Belmore Boys' High School
Melanie Cutler - Centre for Multicultural Youth Nadine Liddy - MYAN (moderator)
1. Who is Mostafa Karimi?
I am 19 years old from Afghan Hazara ethnicity background, living in Tasmania. I am currently studying a Diploma of University Studies in science specialisation at the University of Tasmania. Travel, swimming and camping are some of my hobbies.
2. What sparks a fire in you, and why? I deeply care about the lives of young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds and I know how challenging it is to settle in a new country as I have experienced it myself. I am passionate about settlement and youth participation because I believe getting young people to participate and be involved in multicultural activities can help them to make friends and settle in Australia more easily.
3. What do you consider your greatest achievement to date? I was able to gather a group of young people and create a youth advisory group called Afghan Youth Association Network (AYAN) that organises and delivers different activities and programs for the young people in our communities.
The National Youth Settlement Framework (NYSF) training provides participants with the skills and knowledge to apply the NYSF in their practice – as a tool to support and measure good practice in policy and service delivery with young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
“We are using the NYSF to inform how we build the capacity of young people. As a good practice framework, the NYSF provides us with the foundation to look at whether our services are being responsive to the needs and aspirations of young people as they see them.”
– Jeremy Leonard, Australian Red Cross
Reach out to MYAN's state partners below for information on training sessions.
COVID-19 and Students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Migrant and Refugee (CALDMR) Backgrounds
Students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Migrant and Refugee (CALDMR) backgrounds and University Staff are encouraged to be part of this study exploring the effects of COVID-19-necessitated online learning on CALDMR background students and university staff.
Working as a collective under the Refugee Education Special Interest Group RESIG hope to use information from this research to benefit CALDMR students, as well as university educators, equity practitioners and educational designers.
Participation in the study involves completing an online survey, with the option to undertake a follow-up interview.
Mental Health in Australia Inquiry Report The Mental Health in Australia Inquiry Report is now publicly available.
The report discusses some key influences on people’s mental health and makes recommendations to the Australian and State and Territory Governments.
Mission Australia Youth Survey 25,800 young people participated in the 19th annual Youth Survey. This landmark report provides invaluable evidence collected during the COVID-19 pandemic about young people’s most pressing concerns.
Interim Report The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (the Royal Commission) has released its Interim Report.
Uluru Statement from the Heart translated into over 60 languages The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation to all Australians - from the desert to the sea, to support the recognition of First Nations peoples in the Australian Constitution. SBS Radio - as part of a community education initiative with The Uluru Dialogue - is sharing the Statement with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and multicultural communities by translating it into more than 60 languages. Find your language in podcast and in written form.
Integrating Digital Citizenship into Refugee and Immigrant Youth Programs A guide from Switchboard TA in the United States, designed to help staff integrate digital citizenship education into existing programs, with a focus on digital safety, security, and rights and responsibilities. It describes suggestions for identifying risk and protective factors among refugee youth participants; determining digital citizenship objectives and core messages; designing activities that align with these objectives; and modeling digital safety, security, and responsibility in the (remote) program environment.