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Supporting young people from a refugee background in the education system

May 31, 2022 from 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Virtual Event Virtual Event
- Free

Join us online for a session with presenters from Foundation House and the Refugee Minor Program.

Within the first part of this event, Foundation House, the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture and Trauma, will address how we can support newly-arrived Afghan students and families as they settle in Victoria and enrol in language, primary and secondary schools. The presentation will aim to support people in the following areas:

  • Responding to trauma reactions
  • Responding to trauma disclosures
  • Self-care and care for colleagues
  • Settlement challenges and information regarding the backgrounds and situations of newly arrived Afghan families and how best to support them

Within the second part of this event, the Refugee Minor Program will focus on pathways support for young people of refugee background in Victorian secondary schools. Drawing on their professional experience working with young people who attend government and Catholic schools throughout Victoria, the presenters from refugee Minor Program will:

  • Discuss the barriers that refugee-background students face in preparing for post-secondary school study
  • Encourage the sharing of insights, strategies and resources to strengthen participants’ capacity to support refugee-background students with pathways planning

The content of this workshop will consider both the psycho-social and the academic (English as an Additional Language) needs of refugee-background students as they navigate pathways.


Allison Greene is the Senior Professional Learning Officer in the Education and Early Years team at Foundation House. She has a background in secondary school leadership in the Government sector.

Madeleine Giummarra is School Support Officer for the East within the Education and Early Years Team at Foundation House, she has a background in trauma counselling and advocacy with children, young people and families of refugee backgrounds.

Zahra Mousawai and Zamarai Samim, Community Project Workers within the Foundation House Afghan Community Response team will contribute some insights and perspectives to this presentation from their work with the Afghan Community Response team.

Simone Cassidy and Bojana Popovic are Education and Training Advisors in the Refugee Minor Program (RMP), Department of Families, Fairness and Housing. The RMP provides case management support to young people who have entered Victoria as refugees and are without their parents. The majority of children and young people in the program have experiences of disrupted education or have arrived with little or no formal education. Simone and Bojana work with young people from their time of arrival in Australia until they exit secondary school and begin on the next step in their education journey. Through working with more than 50 schools across Victoria and directly with young people in the RMP, Bojana and Simone have developed insights into how varying supports, systems and attitudes impact the experiences of young people from refugee backgrounds as they navigate the complex world of post-school study options. Formerly teachers, Simone and Bojana combine knowledge of the academic needs of English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners with an understanding of the psychosocial supports which allow refugee-background students to thrive.


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May 31, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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