The VicTESOL professional learning event ‘Supporting young people from a refugee background in the education system’ offered participants valuable insights into working with refugee-background students. Allison Greene and Madeleine Giummarra from Foundation House (Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture and Trauma) explored identifying and responding to trauma reactions and trauma disclosures with students, and how supports connected to the recovery goals can benefit children and young people. Simone Cassidy and Bojana Popovic from Refugee Minor Program (Dep. of Families, Fairness & Housing) built on this understanding of the refugee experience by walking the audience through a case study, unpacking approaches and strategies that can support and empower young people within the education system. Bojana and Simone guided the group in focussing on how we as educational professionals can work with students as they navigate educational pathways. Allison and Madeleine also addressed the important and often under emphasised topic of self care. They equipped the audience with a picture of what it can look like to become over or under involved within this area of work and how we can aim to achieve a balance in our work with students. This event provided the audience with ideas that they could implement in their schools immediately, thoughts and considerations for future planning, and also ideas about how educational professionals can balance their involvement and be conscious of self care and caring for colleagues within our work. VicTESOL would like to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation to Allison, Madeleine, Simone and Bojana for providing the opportunity for us to reflect on this aspect of our work within education.
Refugee Minor Program