With Spring now upon us, we all welcome the warmer weather and the prospect of further border openings and changes in restrictions - particularly in Victoria, with positive steps away from Stage 4 lockdown.
But we are also acutely aware of the long-tail of COVID-19 – the long-term and disproportionate impacts on young people’s lives, and what this will mean for those navigating longstanding barriers to economic, social and civic participation. While the challenges are significant, we know this time also presents a critical opportunity to create policies for a more equitable society. We continue advocating for the rights and interests of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds - working with government, young people and the sector to create concrete, nationally coordinated solutions for policy and service delivery.
Read on to learn more about what we’ve been up to in our policy, sector development and youth leadership work, including meetings with decision-makers, opportunities for young people (including a disability-focused reference group call-out), campaigns, and news and resources relevant to young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
Stay safe and well.
The MYAN team - Nadine, Shannon, Mehak and Andrew
Read SBS's Story:
MYAN provides evidence at the Senate Inquiry into Issues faced by Diaspora Communities in Australia
Top (L to R): Jane Chen, Nadine Liddy
Bottom (L to R): Arif Hazara, Apajok Biar.
On Tuesday, 29th September young people from MYAN's networks presented evidence at the Senate committee hearing evidence about the ongoing challenges faced by diaspora communities in Australia.
The committee heard racism, discrimination, employment limitations, barriers to accessing essential services and a lack of culturally-tailored support services persist, particularly for young people in these communities.
Ambassador Jane Chen told the committee racism and discrimination has a disproportionate and unique effect on young people, harming their identity development and sense of belonging...
On Wednesday, 23rd September more than 140 people joined MYAN's online panel to learn and discuss how they could apply the National Youth Settlement Framework in their work with young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
We will be sharing summarised notes and a recording event of the event very soon. Stay tuned!
In case you missed it…
Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) Discussion Paper
MYAN recently released this discussion paper, prepared in consultation with AMEP and settlement service providers. The paper highlights the importance of taking a flexible, youth focussed approach to best support the English language learning of young people in AMEP, and provides guidance on how this can be achieved.
It also includes a comprehensive set of recommendation for Government to ensure that the AMEP can best meet the English language learning needs of young people.
Young people share their ideas with decision-makers
On Tuesday, 8th September eight young people from MYAN’s networks met with Amanda Rishworth MP, Shadow Minister for Youth to discuss issues important to young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds in Australia.
Key issues raised included representation, media, mental health, education and employment. Some of the key messages from the meeting were:
Solutions in policy and programming must be co-designed and co-led with young people always, to ensure that the lived experiences of Australia’s diverse youth population are considered and addressed in any future national Youth Strategy/Agenda.
There is a strong desire among young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds to build relationships with First Nations communities, but limited national platforms for this.
Proposed changes to university fees and HECS requirements are barriers to education pathways and will disproportionately affect young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. Less accessible pathways will result in the exacerbation of existing employment barriers.
Supporting LGBTIQ+ Refugees and Vulnerable Migrants in Settlement
On Thursday, 3rd September SETSCoP hosted a webinar on Supporting LGBTIQ+ Refugees and Vulnerable Migrants in Settlement, with guest speakers Tina Dixson (Forcibly Displaced People Network) and Nadine Liddy (MYAN). The webinar explored some key considerations for supporting good settlement outcomes for LGBTIQ+ forcibly displaced people, including young people. Watch the webinar recording here.
Opportunity for young people to shape development of National Youth Policy Framework
The Youth Taskforce are seeking direct input from young people to shape the development of the National Youth Policy Framework (the Framework) currently being developed by the Australian Government.
The consultation will provide the Youth Taskforce to better understand how the Youth Taskforce can work with our network of Australian Government Departments and Agencies to provide more targeted support.
Who is Mfaume Kakozi?
I’m 21, one of eight kids, and I’m aiming to do an engineering apprenticeship to become a boilermaker.
Why did you apply to be the MYAN YAN representative for NT?
I want to experience more and learn more - mostly about leadership so I can keep growing as a leader in my community.
What sparks a fire in you, and why?
I’m passionate about studying, singing in the community choir, playing the drums and learning the keyboard. I’m one of the youth leaders in our community and I enjoy helping young people make positive changes. I also enjoy playing soccer. I have been playing as a number 3 since I was little and when I came to Australia I joined a local soccer club. I enjoy the fun and fitness of training with people and meeting up to refresh our minds.
MyQ statewide forum - bringing together the multicultural youth sector
Multicultural Youth Queensland (MyQ) was delighted to host a statewide forum on Tuesday 15th September- bringing together the multicultural youth sector and stakeholders across Queensland to work on collaborative approaches to support multicultural young people.
The event included guest speakers:
Grace, Joseph and Rachael from MyQ Council, who shared youth perspectives on experiences of COVID-19 and what needs to be done in the recovery.
Nadine Liddy from MYAN Australia who shared national policy perspectives
Eli Moore from Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma who shared perspectives and initiatives from the sector
MYAN NSW - New program supporting young people on temporary visas
MYAN NSW recently received a COVID-19 specialist grant from Multicultural NSW to assist temporary migrants to access support, including learning English, finding a job, volunteering or connecting the relevant services. Through this grant, MYAN NSW was able to recruit a Multicultural Youth Worker who has joined the team and is providing social and emotional support to connect young people with the right services.
If you are a local NSW-based service who would like to collaborate on this work, please reach out to MYAN NSW by emailing email@example.com
Upcoming event: Young people, racism & COVID-19
Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) and Australian National University invite you to a lunchtime webinar and launch of their recent report on young Victorians' experiences of racism during COVID-19.
Mr Josh Bull MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Multicultural Affairs, will join the event to launch the report, followed by a conversation with experts to discuss how experiences of racism are impacting our community, and what more we must do to address this.
Findings of the June survey of young Victorians revealed:
89% of all respondents had at least one experience of vicarious racism.
85% of participants from multicultural backgrounds had at least one experience of direct discrimination during this period.
Despite the reported frequency of experiences of vicarious and direct racism, less than one in three (29%) talked with friends or family about it and only 6% reported their experiences.
This event will explore the findings in-depth, hear from young people with lived experiences, and look at mental health and impacts of life in 'lockdown' for young multicultural Victorians.
National Youth Disability Summit Join the inaugural online National Youth Disability Summit! Participation is free for all young people with disability.
The Summit will take place online over Zoom and Hopin platforms. Anyone living in Australia is welcome to join.
If you identify as a migrant or refugee woman living in Australia and you are over the age of 18 years, we encourage you to complete the survey above.
It is an opportunity to inform the advocacy work of Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre and Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women to improve outcomes for migrant and refugee women in Australia.
Save Youth Work The Save Youth Work campaign is opposing changes that will increase the cost of youth work degrees and limit the number of youth workers. The impact of COVID-19 for young people means we need more youth workers now more than ever. You can take action and easily send an email to your representative asking them to Save Youth Work: bit.ly/SaveYouthWork’