Compelling news from the refugee and migrant sector
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News from AMES Australia

4 April 20190 comments

AMES Students, staff take a stand against hate

Hundreds of newly arrived migrants and refugees from more than 30 countries have taken part in a vigil for the victims of the Christchurch terror attacks as part of a Harmony Day picnic.

AMES Australia students, clients and staff came together to stand in solidarity with the victims, their families and the people of Christchurch and New Zealand.

The simple vigil and minutes’ silence was held at Flagstaff Gardens, in Melbourne, recently.

Leaders from Victoria’s Islamic community addressed the gathering along with AMES Australia CEO Cath Scarth.

The event is in response to the recent events in Christchurch. Melbourne is one of Australia’s most diverse cities, with more than 220 different nationalities represented.

AMES Australia CEO Cath Scarth said that AMES Australia was committed to promoting social cohesion and harmony.

“Our successful brand of multiculturalism is a bulwark against extremism and we need to celebrate it and protect it while also remembering the victims of senseless extremist violence,” Ms Scarth said.

Organiser and AMES Australia Flagstaff teacher Nicki Bowell said a picnic to celebrate Harmony Day had been organised several weeks ago.

“After the events in Christchurch, the students from Flagstaff decided that we would have a minutes silence also,” Ms Bowell said.


New app for refugee jobseekers launched

Senator Jane Hume visited AMES Australia’s Box Hill site recently to launch a new smart phone app that promises to help newly arrived refugees navigate the Australian job market.

Senator Hume met with AMES staff and clients and was impressed with the facilities at Box Hill.

The ‘Australian Way’ app has been created by recruitment consultants ‘Our HR Company’ in partnership with AMES Australia and other refugee settlement service providers.

The app is intended to be a one stop shop for humanitarian entrants to build requisite employability skills through an approach of storytelling and online activity.

It aims to give access to key information and support relevant to humanitarian entrants’ integration and job hunting in Australia.

The app is a self-directed platform that is intended to reinforce learning and development at the pace of each user.

Its designers say it will build confidence among users in being able to search, apply and secure work by accelerating the existing funded programs.

AMES Australia CEO Cath Scarth told the launch that for most new arrivals finding work is the critical factor in successful settlement.

“For most people, finding that first job is the key to getting on a pathway to true economic and social participation in our society – and all of the rights and privileges that that brings,” Ms Scarth said.

“Many refugees new to this country – and this applies to professionally qualified migrants as well – there can be significant challenges and barriers to finding meaningful work.

“That’s why initiatives like the ‘Australian Way’ app are so important,” she said.


Refugee engineers gain industry mentoring

More than a dozen AMES Australia Career Pathway Pilot (CPP) clients have benefitted from a job seeking skills workshop with recruiters and staff engineers at engineering giant WorleyParsons.

The session for refugee engineers was arranged with the help of AMES alumni Jamila Alarkan, a refugee from Syria, who studied English with AMES before resuming her career in engineering.

Jamila now works for WorleyParsons.

The students and WorleyParsons staff present heard an overview of the work AMES does from AMES Australia Manager Corporate and Stakeholder Engagement Susy Barry.

AMES Australia Employment Liaison Counsellor, Career Pathway Pilot, Drue Vickery gave an overview of the CPP and the success it has had in connecting refugee professionals with employers and jobs.

WorlyParsons recruiter Asher Miller spoke to the groups giving tips about applying and interviewing for jobs in the engineering sector.

The clients also benefitted from one-on-one discussions and mock interviews with WorleyParsons staff.

Mr Vickery said the workshop was a great opportunity for clients to meet people working in the engineering sector in Australia.

“The workshop was really useful for our clients. It gave them an insight into what’s required in landing a job in engineering in Australia and it was a chance for them to meet and network with people working in their industry,” Mr Vickery said.

“I want to particularly thank everyone at WorleyParsons for making the time to take part and for being so generous with their advice and hospitality,” he said.

PVAW campaign and resources launched

AMES Australia’s Prevention of Violence against Women team recently launched a suite of powerful digital works to advocate for the prevention of violence against women and children in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

The launch took place at Riverside Gallery at Federation Square and played host to a variety of artistic performances including Mitch Tambo, Didgeridoo player, traditional indigenous dancer and singer, who performed his sensational spoken word rap, Dreamtime Princess.

This was followed by an interpretive dance performance from Sarah Yu which encapsulated the need to bring about change and end violence against women and children.

The collection of resources, which include advocacy postcards in 13 different languages and an inspiring video featuring powerful spoken word poetry, were officially launched at the event. The graduates from the Prevention of Violence against Women (PVAW) Leadership course were welcomed to the stage for the launch of the video they created.

The crowd of over 120 attendees were left feeling inspired and motivated to make change in their communities.

AMES Australia Senior Manager Prevention of Violence against Women program, Wendy Lobwein, runs the PVAW leadership course and worked with course graduates to develop these resources and coordinate the launch event.

“It was wonderful to launch these two brilliant productions, developed by an amazing group of emerging leaders in CALD communities, which are a much needed step toward filling this gap. Awareness of the issue is the first step. These terrific postcards, available in 13 languages, and the powerful digital poem add to our nation’s store of materials designed by and for CALD communities”, Ms Lobwein said.