As published in the Border Chronicle.
Written by Louise Horobin.
Photo: Students: Khatera Rezai, Shakila Ghulami, Ivy Thien, Parwana Abdullahi and Asif Abdullahi.
Bordertown’s Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) has received a 2018 ABC Heywire grant, which will be used to encourage long term career opportunities in the agricultural sector for migrant and refugee youths.
MRC multicultural community services coordinator Tracey Grosser said the grant money would be put towards developing a pilot program in collaboration with Bordertown High School and the MRC.
“The program will be about improving knowledge and skills in regards to agriculture as a career pathway for migrant and refugee youth,” she said.
“It will be an opportunity to address shortages in the local agriculture industry as well as provide social capacity building.
“We will coordinate a working group involving local youth, local council and agricultural industries to develop local partnerships to ensure a range of opportunities are available to migrant and refugees to access the agricultural work environment.”
Mrs Grosser said the program is being developed and would begin in December.
“Work experience for the students would then begin in May next year,” she said.
Mrs Grosser said the goal of the program would be to help migrants and refugees achieve long term settlement in regional areas.
“There’s a big regional focus on a policial level for regional long term settlement,” Mrs Grosser said.
“Programs like this help sustain and encourage long term job opportunities for migrants and refugees coming to regional areas.
“It’s about the long term.”
Back in June, Tatiara District Council launched ‘The Migrant Community Action Plan’, which also aims to improve settlement outcomes for migrants, refugees and the local community.
The Migrant Community Action Plan includes objectives such as providing access to English and adult education programs, retaining migrants in the community long term, support art and cultural pursuits, building migrant understanding of Australian services and customs and build the local community’s understanding of migrants’ cultural background.