We are thrilled to commemorate a significant milestone as the Melbourne Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) celebrates 75 years of Australia’s service to migrants and refugees. The event, held at the welcoming Melbourne Immigration Museum on Monday 5 June, was a testament to the power of inclusivity and unity.
Led by Melbourne Polytechnic, the Melbourne AMEP consists of a network of 15 TAFE providers and Learn Locals. Melbourne AMEP is the largest AMEP provider in Victoria and forms part of the broader national AMEP network, which is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs.
This vital program assists individuals from migrant and refugee backgrounds in learning English and seamlessly integrating into Australian life. By empowering them with language skills and fostering a sense of belonging, the Melbourne AMEP helps pave the way for their successful settlement and active participation in our diverse society.
We were honoured to have the presence of the Hon. Andrew Giles MP, Federal Minister for Scullin and Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, who delivered inspiring opening remarks at the event. Joined by approximately 300 attendees, including volunteers, teachers, TAFE staff, Learn Local and community partners, it was a joyous celebration of collective achievements.
Former and current students attended the event, sharing their inspiring stories of courage and resilience. Among these exceptional individuals is Faiza, who migrated from Pakistan in 2019. As a young girl, her dream of becoming an electrician was not possible in her homeland. Through the educational pathways offered by the Melbourne AMEP, she achieved her dreams, became a qualified electrician and is now thriving in a multinational company.
Another remarkable success story is that of Mohammad, a refugee from Afghanistan who arrived in Australia with his family in 2021. Recognising the pivotal role of English language skills in unlocking opportunities and creating a better future, Mohammad eagerly joined the AMEP. Through the program, he also forged meaningful friendships and connections, fostering a deep sense of belonging.
Launching in 1948, Australia’s AMEP was a world-first initiative. The Melbourne AMEP has been operating since 2003 and has transformed the lives of over 50,000 individuals.
What makes the Melbourne AMEP's efforts truly exceptional is the strength of its community partnerships. These relationships allow Melbourne AMEP to offer a comprehensive range of support services, including education, health, employment, settlement and legal assistance.
Frances Coppolillo, Chief Executive of Melbourne Polytechnic, which leads the Melbourne AMEP, beautifully captures the essence of the program, saying, "The Melbourne AMEP reflects the spirit of inclusivity and empowerment. It nurtures a sense of belonging, equipping migrants and refugees with the skills and tools they need to thrive in Australia. Our students hail from 59 countries, speaking 72 languages. They inspire us with their resilience and determination to learn, grow, and prosper. Their contributions broaden our understanding of the world, deepen our appreciation for diversity, and enrich our community."
As we reflect on 75 years of AMEP, we celebrate the achievements and positive impact this program has had on the lives of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Together, we will continue to build an inclusive and vibrant Australia where everyone has the opportunity to flourish.