Community partnerships

A range of government and non-government organisations in the community can assist schools in supporting refugee students and their families.

Homework and tutorial assistance

The Refugee Action Support (RAS) Program places university student tutors in schools, provides after school tuition and in-school assistance to refugee students to develop their literacy skills. The Refugee Action Support partnerships are joint initiatives of the NSW Department of Education, the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation and a number of universities. Universities involved in partnerships are University of Western Sydney, University of Sydney and Charles Sturt University.

Mentoring support

Mentoring support helps refugee students engage in school life, progress in their studies and plan their transition to further education by developing skills such as study and research skills, awareness of school and university cultures in Australia.

The LEAP Macquarie Mentoring Program is a refugee mentoring program providing university students as mentors for high school students from refugee backgrounds. The mentors assist students to set personal goals and understand university and other educational pathways. The program was developed through a partnership between Macquarie University and the NSW Department of Education.

Show Me the Way online mentoring

The Show Me the Way – Parramatta program is an initiative of not for profit organisation Show Me the Way in collaboration with the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) and the NSW Department of Education.

Through the program, refugee students receive secure online mentoring support from trained volunteers from corporate learning partners to improve their engagement in learning and plan their transition from school to further education. Students also work with their learning partners to produce and launch a film about the careers of ‘successful’ individuals from refugee backgrounds.

The Ready Arrive Work program

The Ready Arrive Work (RAW) program provides practical activities and strategies to engage refugee students in vocational learning, career planning and making links with employers and community organisations.

Hear about how schools are providing career and transition support for refugee students in the video Transition support.

Settlement support for families

Intensive settlement support is provided to newly arrived refugee and humanitarian entrants through the Humanitarian Settlement Services. The HSS aims to help refugees achieve self-sufficiency as soon as possible by providing them with specialised services on a needs basis. Settlement support for asylum seekers is available at the Asylum Seekers Centre.

Go to Migrant Resource Centres for information about government services, community organisations and local organisations that can assist schools. For instance, they can help with filling in forms and preparing job applications. They can also give information about Australian society, customs and institutions and provide basic information on health, employment, education and the law.

MRCs are also able to assist schools in providing support for refugee students and families through programs that support the needs of children, families and youth, for example, after school homework centres, sporting programs and family harmony programs.

Refugee health services

The NSW Refugee Health Service provides health services for people from a refugee background by assisting refugees and the health professionals who work with them.

Services provided include specialised health clinics for refugee children, youth and adults; orientation to the health system; advocacy and advice regarding access to health care; and programs in areas of preventative health, for example health screening, oral hygiene, nutrition. Refugee students may be referred by schools to the NSW Refugee Health clinics or the Health Assessment for Refugee Kids (HARK) clinic at Westmead Children's Hospital.

Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors provides programs and services to assist individuals from refugee backgrounds to recover from trauma and refugee communities to empower themselves. STARTTS also provides training for teachers and school counsellors. More information can be found on their website.

Watch the following video about schools' partnerships with community organisations.

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