• 14 SEP 18
    • 0
    Young people take the lead

    Young people take the lead

    With new skills and training from ASRC’s Youth Action Project, 20 young people are taking their vision back to the community and setting up groups they’re passionate about across Melbourne.

    Sitting alongside the trivia nights and book clubs, we’re going to see more and more community groups popping up around Melbourne in support of fair and human experience for people seeking asylum.

    ASRC has been running a Youth Action Project (YAP) for people under 30 passionate about leading change in Australia’s asylum and immigration policies, and often it racial vilification of crime and migrant communities.

    Starting in 2015, the Project has brought together hundreds of young people with meetups, social and skill based development to share their knowledge and build their foundations as powerful local advocates.

    “I believe everyone deserves to live in safety and have the freedom that we as Australians enjoy every day.

    There’s already incredible support in our communities for providing safety and importantly, belonging, for those seeking protection and fleeing persecution, said Program Coordinator Liyan Gao.

    “The young people we reach out to through this program are committed and wanting to make a difference. They’re often just confused on how to take action and have impact.

    “All we do is provide them with spaces to meet each other, learn together and build tangible skills to get their vision off the ground. And in turn, their values enacted.”

    University of Melbourne student, Kayvan Gharbi, has recently started a new group with fellow students called Melbourne with Refugees. “I am of Iranian heritage, and would love to do everything in my power to ease the experience and quality of life people who are seeking asylum and needing protection.”

    “Something that particularly struck me was the fact that my University is teeming with people who feel just as I do, and are frustrated by our government’s harsh mistreatment of these marginalised people.”

    Melbourne with Refugees now has four founding members working hard to change community attitudes and campaign for the rights of people seeking asylum.

    “We hope to do this by working with people seeking asylum and refugees in the Melbourne electorate through different front-line services. We’ve got a bit of a way to go, but it’s building momentum.”

    Their inaugural event is happening 20th September 12-2pm at Rowden White Library Melbourne University.

    Psychology student, Sadie Holland, has also started a local group with ASRC volunteer Bree Scroope Bayside with Refugees in her local area for any community member wanting to join her advocating for change. When asked why, she said:

    “I believe everyone deserves to live in safety and have the freedom that we as Australians enjoy every day.”

    Take action

    Join emerging community groups run by passionate young people at your university or local area.

    Alternatively, email YAP Program Coordinator, Liyan at yap@asrc.org.au.

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