Our Students

Cali Bukurow

Cali Bukurow left Somalia and spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before arriving in Australia in 2007.

Now studying Melbourne Polytechnic's Certificate IV in Community Services Work, he's keen to gain the qualifications he'll need to help newly arrived immigrants.

Cali Bukurow left Somalia and spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before arriving in Australia in 2007.

He completed several courses in English as a Second Language at Melbourne Polytechnic, including the Certificate III in ESL (Employment) in the English for Bilingual Health and Community Work stream, before enrolling in the Certificate IV in Community Services Work.

"I like to engage with people. I call myself talkative. I talk to everyone and I don't find it hard or strange. Talking to people, you get to know how their life is. If you talk to someone, maybe you get an idea that you've never thought about."

"As an immigrant, I see we have a lot of need. Teenagers and young people in the community, they don't know exactly what's going on. I think they need someone to encourage them, to sit and talk with them."

Cali has volunteered with community groups, working in the Somalia community and with Darebin Council's Youth Services, where he has coached soccer, BMX and skateboarding.

It was difficult for Cali in his first year of study. "There was an assessment, writing one thousand words, and I'd never done that before." He was supported by his teachers and the Melbourne Polytechnic Study Skills program and now five years later his English is good enough that he feels confident talking about Australian Rules football.

"Some people who meet me think I've been here ten years but I've been here only five. I tell them and they say, 'Seriously? I thought you'd been here since you were a kid.'"

Cali wants to enrol in the Melbourne Polytechnic (formerly known as NMIT) Diploma of Community Services Work for international students and would like to become a youth worker, or work in a role where he can help newly arrived immigrants settle in.

"When they come to Australia they need someone to tell them how public transport works and where the shop is. I remember one friend, who was new to Australia, she told me she got in the back door of the bus, because she didn't know where to get on."

Cali says he can't wait to start studying again next year. "Now I kind of like this place and want to do all my courses here. I feel like I've got support and when my assessment is hard I can get help. Melbourne Polytechnic has become my place now."

Cali thanked all the Melbourne Polytechnic teachers and his fellow students – he has appreciated all of their support during his studies at Melbourne Polytechnic.


Certificate IV in Community Services Work