Young refugee seizes opportunity to kick start media career through purpose-driven partnership

June 20, 2018

CMY has teamed up with film production company Momentary to support young people to overcome barriers to employment.

For Aref Ramazani, a young Hazara man who sought asylum in Australia in 2009, finding employment after completing his university degree wasn’t easy.

“There’s a lot of challenges, especially coming from a refugee background – not only for me, but for other young people as well – there’s a lack of language, lack of networks and connections, lack of job searching skills and other issues, such as discrimination,” Aref explains.

As a passionate photographer and video storyteller, Aref successfully completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Communications at RMIT in 2017, and was determined to use his skills to share stories of people making a positive impact in their community. 

“When I graduated, I applied for a lot of jobs and got no responses. Clearly there was something wrong. I’ve been through a lot of workshops that help you be more employable, and find employment, but none of them worked.”

Aref came across CMY’s program which provides support to young people who are looking for work. The free program helps young people to find direct employment, a traineeship, an apprenticeship, or a work placement opportunity.

Jane Marx, Program Leader for CMY, says:

“Getting a foothold into the labour market in Australia is vital for all young people, but it is particularly difficult for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, who face additional barriers to securing employment.”

Through CMY, Aref was placed in a paid internship at Momentary, a video production company specialising in social impact storytelling. Michael Johnston, Founder and Creative Director of Momentary, saw the shared value in providing an opportunity to a young person looking to get a start in the media industry.

“I believe there is a lack of diversity in the media industry and only a handful of people are choosing which stories to tell and how to tell them,” Michael says.

“So what we’re trying to do is give people who are facing barriers to employment an opportunity to break down those barriers. Ultimately, we hope this will help them tell their own story, and the stories of people in their community.”

For CMY, it was obvious that Aref and Momentary were a natural fit for each other – and Aref was delighted to secure a three month paid internship, allowing him to gain 100 hours of experience in all aspects of video production. He’s now nearing the end of his internship, and sees it as the ideal launching pad.

“I’ve been given that first step into the media industry and can use this as a reference for my future career. Not only do I get paid for it, every day on the job I learn something new. My big dream is to be a professional filmmaker."

CMY delivers this program with the generous support of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, The William Buckland Foundation, The R E Ross Trust and The Myer Foundation.