News from AMES Australia
State Minister launches AMES digital literacy program
Victoria’s Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney recently visited AMES Australia’s Werribee site to meet teachers and students and see the Digital Literacy pre-course in action.
AMES Digital Literacy pre-course is a new communication program that is helping migrants and refugees improve their language and digital skills in preparation for further study or gaining meaningful jobs.
It began at AMES in March to provide participants with a solid foundation to use emails and services like myGov, search for jobs, create strong passwords and understand cyber safety.
AMES CEO Cath Scarth welcomed the minister to the event, which was also a celebration of AMES Australia’s 70 years of service.
“AMES is thrilled to be supporting Victoria’s multicultural community and refugees to improve their skills as well as access services, information and employment opportunities,” Cath said.
AMES Senior Manager Digital Engagement Craig Snelling told the gathering that the Digital Literacy pre-course was started in response to the online transition of programs during the coronavirus pandemic and because many AMES clients had not used a computer or smart phone before arriving in Australia.
He said it was co-designed by people who were refugees and asylum seekers for migrants from places like Syria and Iraq, Burma, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Venezuela.
AMES student Neten Tshering arrived from Bhutan and lives in Diggers Rest with his family and joined the program to improve his English with the hopes of securing a job in the local community.
Minister Tierney told the gathering: “This is an important program that will ensure no Victorian is left behind – and that people from CALD communities have the support to improve their communication skills, enter the workforce, and live their best lives.”
“We are committed to strengthening the skills and training sector to prepare people for the most in-demand jobs and bolster the economy as Victoria emerges from the coronavirus pandemic,” the minister said.
AMES Mildura celebrates diversity
AMES Australia’s Mildura site has celebrated Cultural Diversity Week and the inclusiveness of Australian society with a fabulous multicultural picnic.
Teachers and students gathered at AMES’ site in the morning and then walked to the Mildura Rowing Club.
On the way, teachers Albi Dinkar and Linh Hayes explained to the students about traffic safety rules and the group talked about the things around them.
In pleasant weather, the group walked to the picturesque river park.
“When we reached there, we sang a song and sat in a circle under the shade on the river bank,” Albi said.
“Everyone introduced themselves and shared a story about their culture. It was very interesting to know more about different festivals and cultures,’ she said.
“We embraced the difference in cultures with happiness and the students were so glad to get an opportunity to know more about each other.
“We saw the houseboats and ferries sail on the river. Then we walked to the Ornamental Lakes Park. The children were excited to play in the park,” Albi said.
The group played a ‘passing the ball’ game with music w3huch was followed by a great lunch together. Some of the African students danced to the music.
“We had a great day at the park. The students talked about their culture and shared the stories, played games and had lunch together. It was a fun filled day with music and dance,” Albi said.
“All of us were happy to gather together in harmony. The students were so thankful to be a part of the great AMES community,” she said.
The local paper, the Sunraysia Daily, covered the event, publishing a photos of the group enjoying lunch in the park.
Drill Hall Community Garden opens
AMES Australia recently hosted the formal opening of a new community garden at the Melbourne Multicultural Hub’s Drill Hall.
The event, part of Harmony Week celebrations, saw representatives from the City of Melbourne, Housing Choices Australia, CoHealth, AMES, the Multicultural Hub and the Drill Hall Community Garden Association attend.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp officially opened the garden and was joined by AMES CEO Cath Scarth, local MP Adam Bandt, ACTU Secretary Sally McManus, the CEO of housing choices Australia Michael Lennon, the CEO of CoHealth Nicole Bartholomeusz as well as four City of Melbourne councillors.
AMES Australia Community Engagement Officer Reshma Mandahar said the event was a great success and was attended by about 40 people.
“We had a plant workshop where we planted next season’s vegetables,” Reshma said.
“Also, aboriginal elder Ringo Terrick performed Welcome to Country and smoking ceremonies for the event and planted native edible plants in one section of the garden,” she said.
“All of the groups present have worked together for this garden to develop and to make it what it is today. So, thanks to everyone,” Reshma said.