The community does not always understand the experience of young refugees and migrants in Australia.
But new broadcasts on the student youth network SYNF-FM by 13 young refugees and migrants aged from 16-26 years studying in YAMEC (Young Adult Migrant Education Course) VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) in Collingwood, will offer the community valuable insights into the culture and lives of these young people.
The students are broadcasting every Tuesday for one hour between 2-3pm for 10 weeks from October through to December on topics ranging from religion, culture, employment, education, relationships, music and the refugee and migrant experience in Australia.
NMIT YAMEC VCAL teacher Chris Francke said the broadcasts would assist students to achieve curriculum outcomes such as personal development skills and work related skills in a creative and fun filled way.
'The students prepare and plan their broadcasts beforehand and can express their own ideas and opinions which helps enhance their self-confidence and self-esteem,' Chris said.
'At the same time, they're also gaining knowledge of how Australian culture operates and how it is processed and influenced. Normally, they wouldn't have access to a radio station and most important of all to express their opinions and feelings on a public radio station. So, this is a great opportunity for them to communicate with local people about local issues.'
A radio station trainer facilitates the program with them and helped train them before they first broadcast. The program is live to air.
For Aeda Sheik, 20, from Ethiopia, who arrived in Australia in 2005, the broadcasts offer an opportunity to talk about her background, her experience in Ethiopia and as a 'new arrival' trying to settle in Melbourne.
She said one of her aims was to make other young people think and learn and help bring cultures together in the community.
'It's important for others to understand my experience and to learn about myself and this can bring young people together even though we are from different countries and different cultures'
Aeda added that while she was nervous and shy at the beginning, now she was feeling more confident and less shy and enjoyed the experience.
'As students, we interview each other and it's helped me talk about myself and what I have experienced. We also try to laugh and you can learn more if you are having fun.'
For Zayarmal Mangal, 21, from Afghanistan, who has been in Australia since 2006, broadcasting on SYN FM has given him a taste of a possible future employment direction.
'Radio station 3ZZZ has a program in the Afghanistan language and I'd maybe like to work there. I'd like to be on the news and be serious and having this experience now will maybe help me get a job there.'
He said talking about his life in Afghanistan as well as in Australia helped people appreciate how hard and difficult it could be coming to a new country and he too, likes to make people think and give them some new ideas.
Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on seven campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.
Interview / Photo Opportunity
Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener.