Media Release by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

New training materials to assist Australian multicultural youth providers

A new training package to assist people who help young refugees and migrants was today launched by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, in Sydney.

The package, Engaging Respectfully with Young People (from Refugee Backgrounds) has been developed for people who provide services to young people of refugee backgrounds, including settlement, health and employment service providers, youth workers, recreational service providers and teachers.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells said the national Certificate IV training package would help people working with young refugees understand them better and make a positive difference to their lives.

“About half of people granted refugee or humanitarian visas are under the age of 25,” she said.

“Adolescence is a time of transition that any youth, regardless of background, can find challenging.

“Some of these young people may have escaped conflict and violence in their home country, experienced torture, trauma and sometimes lived all their lives in refugee camps.”

Despite these challenges, Senator Fierravanti-Wells said young people from refugee backgrounds come to Australia with many strengths and resources, such as broad international and cross-cultural knowledge, multilingual skills, and a desire to succeed.

“In Australia, they can find a place to be safe, they can find a place where they can dream about a better future, where they can find people to help them achieve their dreams and aspirations.

“The Government supports the successful settlement of refugees and other migrants because it is committed to building a prosperous, socially cohesive nation.

“We have invested in a range of policies and programmes which foster English language learning and educational and employment outcomes for young humanitarian entrants.

The training package was produced by a group comprising the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network, Navitas English, AMES, the Multicultural Development Association and Margaret Piper and Associates.