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

23 November 20180 comments

Minister Scott recognises AMES work with CALD women

Recently the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Robin Scott MP, hosted an afternoon tea to celebrate the success of capacity building programs within CALD communities.

AMES Australia was invited to attend the event to celebrate winning a grant over two years under the Capacity Building and Participation program to continue delivering the Prevention of Violence against Women (PVaW) course.

The event was attended by AMES Australia representatives Ada Chan, who works with the Research and Policy and PVaW teams, Tess Demediuk, Senior Manager Research and Policy and Manager for Curriculum and Program Development, and Adam Baxter, Stakeholder Relations Consultant.

The Minister recognised community contribution to cultural diversity and highlighted his commitment to supporting programs that leverage diversity across all parts of the community.

Ada Chan said it was a great opportunity to recognise the success of capacity building programs in CALD communities and celebrate the contribution of the PVaW course.

“It was a great chance to meet with the Minister for Multicultural Affairs to celebrate the successes of capacity building programs like PVaW”, Ada said.

AMES Australia has been delivering the PVaW course since 2017, playing a part in ending violence against women and children by running this senior level leadership course.

This course equips members of culturally and linguistically diverse communities with the knowledge, understanding and skills to lead actions in their communities, workplaces and nationally in violence prevention strategies.



Forum gives insight into barriers CALD women face

Recently AMES Australia hosted a women’s forum exploring the barriers faced by women from culturally diverse backgrounds in accessing meaningful employment and achieving social inclusion.

The event also sought to highlight how businesses in the global economy stand to benefit from embracing gender and cultural diversity.

Attendees had the opportunity to hear from AMES Australia CEO Cath Scarth and the Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins MP on the initiatives that are being delivered to help CALD women overcome barriers.

As the participation of CALD women in the workforce is substantially lower than that of Australian born women, the event provided a platform to discuss the reasons behind this.

The panel was made up of a group of women from a variety of backgrounds who discussed the barriers they have personally experienced and what can be done to help alleviate some of these issues.

The women highlighted challenges such as a lack of English, no access to education and the challenge of paying for child care to attend interviews and training courses.

The women also highlighted that a lack of confidence and self-worth can be a serious barrier preventing CALD women from seeking meaningful employment.

Guests included representatives from companies who are keen to learn more about the benefits of diversity and inclusion.

Many clients from programs such as SPMP, Works Skills and CPP also attended the event to learn more about overcoming some of the challenges, and also as an opportunity to meet employers.

The event was intended to inspire change in the corporate sector and government to help address some of the barriers CALD women are facing.



Refugee doctor lands a job

Iraqi doctor and AMES Australia Career Pathways Pilot (CPP) client Asseel Yako has recently landed a job at Warragul Hospital, in Gippsland.

Asseel has had to overcome rigorous English language requirements as well as medical exams to be able to resume his career.

He says the CPP course helped prepare him for the process of having his qualifications recognised, gaining recognition as a specialist and eventually finding a position as a resident.

He starts his new job in January but is currently doing a week-long observership at the hospital.

As a doctor working in Iraq during the conflict there, Asseel Yako saved hundreds of lives.

His daily work was tending to battlefield wounds suffered by soldiers or militia members fighting ISIS or patching up women and children horrifically injured in explosions of gunfire.

“It was dangerous simply getting to work. There were bombs, kidnappings and people were killed on the street,” Asseel said.

But when ISIS invaded his town, he and his family were forced to flee their home, the medical practice he had started and everything the family had known and loved.

Now in Australia, Asseel is grateful that his family is safe.

“I want to thank the Australian Government for what it has done for us at the time when we were in desperate need,” he said.

“I am looking forward to resuming my medical career and contributing to the community and Australian society,” he said.


AMES client features in national art exhibition

AMES Australia client and Afghan refugee Mirwais Janbaz is part of a national exhibition featuring refugee and asylum seeker artists recently launched by retail giant IKEA.

Mirwais’ work has been included in the HOME Exhibition currently on show in the IKEA restaurant at Springvale, in Melbourne’s south-west. It will be in Springvale until November 24.

He is one of seven artists featured in the exhibition which will travel to other IKEA sites around the country.

The exhibition aims to recognise and nurture the talents of refugee and newly-arrived artists showcasing them as artists, rather than frame their art practice through the prism of their refugee story.

Mirwais was forced to flee his home in Afghanistan because of war and persecution and lived in legal and social limbo in Pakistan for 20 years.

He came to Australia as a refugee in 2017 and is now studying to be a plumber.

“Art is my passion and I was very happy and grateful to be accepted into this exhibition,” Mirwais said.