Champions and winners: MY Education Awards 2017
Champions awarded for work with students from refugee & migrant backgrounds
Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, the Hon. James Merlino acknowledged excellence in education support for children and young people at the statewide MY Education Awards this week.
Developed by the Centre for Multicultural Youth, the annual MY Education Awards recognise excellence and showcase the outstanding contributions made by students, volunteer tutors, schools and out-of-school-hours learning support programs.
This year, 31 champions from across Victoria were recognized with awards for both individual and program achievements.
CEO Carmel Guerra said the MY Education Awards help us to recognise exceptional individuals and organisations that tirelessly provide essential education support to young people, particularly refugee and migrant young people who otherwise might be left behind.
“These awards recognise people who give their time each week, tutoring refugee and migrant young people and assisting them to achieve their full potential.” Ms Guerra said.
“They also highlight and celebrate the incredible accomplishments of the refugee and migrant young people who attend.”
Each week hundreds of volunteers and teachers contribute their time at homework clubs that provide tutoring to school students across Victoria. They provide one-on-one support, coaching in specific subjects and, most importantly, encouragement and confidence to the students to succeed in their education.
“The incredible people that make learning support programs possible come from all walks of life, including those who came to Australia as refugees themselves and who now volunteer to give back to the community,” Ms Guerra said.
“The MY Education Awards acknowledge their contributions and generosity, while congratulating students on a job well done.”
Shout Out speaker Sherry-Rose Bih, co-emceed the ceremony along with Carmel. She spoke about her own experience navigating the Victorian education system.
CMY’s MY Education Awards were launched in 2015 to recognise excellence and showcase outstanding contributions made by organisations, students, schools and community organisations in out-of-school-hours learning support programs throughout Victoria. The 2017 awards were presented by Hon. James Merlino on Thursday 26th October at a special ceremony held at the Melbourne Chinese Museum. Details of the winners can be found below.
MY Education 2017 Awards partners:
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LE VAN TRUYEN
OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER
Le has been volunteering for nine years, conducting math tutoring three times a week. He supports students from a refugee background who are aged between 13 -18 years. Le also offers to teach table tennis on Saturdays, and is incredibly generous with his time. He is an engineer by trade and offers a wealth of experience. He supports and encourages his students and has stayed committed to the program. He always motivates his students, and parents have been incredibly grateful to Le for the support he provides.
LAURA DI NATALE
OUSTANDING PEER VOLUNTEER
Laura established the Wallan Homework Club with the support of one other person. She decided to set up the program after having a positive experience supporting younger students at a school homework club that she used to attend. She has shown extraordinary initiative, commitment and enthusiasm in every aspect of her work on this project and as the coordinator and tutor she consistently seeks out advice and support to further develop her program. As a young person herself (currently completing Year 12), she encourages students to develop a greater interest in discovering their strengths.
WEEROONA COLLEGE BENDIGO
OUTSTANDING SCHOOL (RURAL OR REGIONAL)
Weeroona Additional Learning Support (WALS) operates once per week in partnership with Grade 6 Karen students from White Hills Primary School. Students work in small groups and on individual projects, homework, assignments, resumè preparation. Assistance is also provided with co-curricular activities such as the RACV Energy Breakthrough Pedal Prix, Celebration Ball, a Water Safety Program and a Pre-Driver Education Program. WALS has improved student confidence and relationships between staff and students, and provided greater opportunities for parental involvement.
– WINNER –
RUSKIN PARK HOMEWORK CLUB, CROYDON
OUTSTANDING SCHOOL (METROPOLITAN)
Ruskin Park Homework Club provides engagement in rich English language experiences, such as informal conversations with a variety of teachers, exploration of high quality literature, homework and curriculum support, cooking classes and excursions. The Homework Club began when non-English speaking parents confided in staff that they lacked the confidence to help children with their homework. Since then, the Homework Club has enabled students to receive academic support, and build relationships with people of all ages. There has been a dramatic improvement in social and English language skills, and in the quality of interactions between peers and teachers.
– WINNERS –
SOUTHERN MIGRANT AND REFUGEE CENTRE & BANKSIA GARDENS BROADMEADOWS STUDY GROUP
OUTSTANDING OUT-OF-SCHOOL-HOURS LEARNING SUPPORT PROGRAM
Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre (SMRC) run the Homework Support Program in Dandenong. Students receive one-on-one tutoring for high school subjects, access to computers and printing, and a variety of current text books and novels.
Volunteer tutors have a variety of knowledge and industry skills ranging from retired teachers, to university students and engineers. The program provides a variety of curriculum and social learning activities, including guitar, cooking, study and stress management techniques, and curriculum based games and guest speakers to support their settlement.
Banksia Gardens facilitates three sessions a week for young people aged 5 - 18 years, who are enrolled in local primary and secondary schools. All activities are organised in response to the demands of the demographics of Broadmeadows. The aim is to deliver a program that helps disadvantaged children achieve improved levels of academic success, with increased confidence, self-esteem, health and wellbeing. Both students of all ages and parents report positive impacts on educational performance from participation in the program.
– WINNERS –
AFOMEYA MENGISTU, RAMIN KAZIMI, SHUAB OMAR AWIL & JUDITH BASIONI
OUTSTANDING PRIMARY STUDENT
Afomeya is an exceptional student at the St Albans Homework Club. Arriving in Australia from Ethiopia only two and-a-half years ago, she has made a strong impression with her consistent bi-weekly attendance and remarkable focus and self-discipline. These exemplary qualities evident in Afomeya at her young age indicate her significant future potential as a leader, learner and contributor in the academic field. Afomeya’s dedication to learning has had enormous positive effect on tutors, staff and students alike, who draw encouragement from her polite manner and incredible determination.
Ramin first attended this Dandenong-based program in May 2016, and from the very beginning he took great responsibility for his learning and displayed a positive attitude to all of his school work. Initially he spoke very little English and was socially shy, but by December 2016, he had completed the EAL transition program with an excellence award and was voted the school captain in 2017. Ramin is always ready to assist students and volunteers. He is a very well-respected leader and role model to not only students from an EAL/refugee background, but the whole school.
Shuab is a kind and intelligent boy who seeks out challenges and is inclusive of other children. He has a very strong work ethic and is going from strength to strength. He always contributes to the learning support program, whether working within a group or on a project or game. In 2016, Shuab accompanied his father on a three-month trip to Somalia to meet his grandparents, which has given him a whole new perspective on his education and motivation to do well in life. Shuab is wise beyond his years and is an amazing student at FILLS.
Judith displays natural leadership within the learning support program, always arriving to the program on time to voluntarily assist with setup of the program. She is very conscientious about encouraging her peers to adhere to the rules and expectations of the group, which assists with creating a warm, welcoming and harmonious environment. As a result of Judith’s caring and nurturing approach, younger members of the group have asked to be assigned to work with Judith as they admire her personality and are appreciative of her mentoring.
– WINNERS –
DEEX MAHAT & MOHAMMED ABDINUUR
OUTSTANDING SECONDARY STUDENT
Deex has provided a positive example to other students in the learning support program regarding behaviour, communication with tutors and commitment to study. His driven and warm personality make him both an inspiration and comforting presence for all students. Deex has ensured students have a comfortable and safe space to pray, has actively welcomed new students and shows amazing leadership in helping to run the program when the coordinator has been busy. Deex has inspired students to work diligently and to feel comfortable getting support from tutors.
Mohammed is currently in Year 8 and has an exemplary approach to work. He demonstrates initiative and contributes to a positive environment at the homework club through his respectful attitude and calm demeanor. Mohammed’s contributions stand out because he demonstrates a maturity, high level of focus and critical engagement with his studies that are uncommon for his age group. While Mohammed is unassuming, he has many leadership qualities as shown by his willingness to provide assistance to other students as necessary.
The Centre for Multicultural Youth would like to thank each and every one of the hard-working individuals and organisations who strive to improve the learning outcomes of refugee and migrant young people in Victoria every day.