ASRC staff member in meeting with man who is seeking asylum

Empowerment pathways

The path to empowerment involves having a sense of purpose. That means something different for everyone, and our Innovation Hub based at our Footscray Centre helps refugees and people seeking asylum to find theirs through our empowerment programs.

Our staff and other members work with people who want to join the Hub to identify their strengths, skills, experience and goals. Together, they find opportunities for members to feel a sense of purpose and connection, whether it be through social outings or sports, or by linking into our employment or education teams. Even without work or study rights, the programs find opportunities for everyone to contribute to or lead initiatives, recognising that the best people to run programs for people seeking asylum are often those who have experienced it.

ASRC youth program painting mural

Empowering youth

This program empowers young people seeking asylum (under the age of 30) to determine and advance their own futures by helping them access work, education and social opportunities. Youth also develop their own journey through the ASRC by designed a program where they determine the skills and knowledge they need to learn and grow.

It has fostered a proactive, engaged group of young people who have made lasting friendships and gained confidence and leadership skills to thrive in Australia. Some of its graduates have moved into jobs in their chosen fields, are leaders in their communities, inspirational speakers and also mentors for other young people with similar experiences.

Woman looking at womens empowerment program art work

Empowering women

This program supports women seeking asylum to realise their full potential. Many women who access the program are already professionals but need an Australian qualification to resume their careers or help to find another path. The program provides English language classes plus workplace experience and a range of professional development opportunities to build participants’ knowledge and skills to secure work in Australia. It includes community based activities to help members connect socially and improves self-esteem through a nine-week self-growth program. The program is driven by its members, who plan to launch a new Women in Business program this year.