It’s graduation time for several refugee groups taking the Bendigo Community Health Services orientation course run by our Humanitarian Settlement Services team.
The orientation course involves several weeks of information and education on things such as using public transport, Australian laws, culture, banking system, currency, rental housing, water safety, health services and the role of the police.
For many new people, arriving in Australia can be a challenging even overwhelming experience. So much is foreign; the language, the people, the smells, the food and landscape are different. This period of orientation is a small part of lifelong learning in their settlement journey.
BCHS also runs a Karen Youth Focus group each Friday.
The group provides an informal setting for young people to catch up, share information, discuss opportunities for getting involved in the broader community and any settlement challenges they face.
Guest speakers provide information to the group on career pathways, how to join the police force, getting into courses offered by La Trobe University and other opportunities for students from refugee backgrounds.
When asked what the participants like most about the group, the response included:
- meeting with friends and making new friends.
- excursion to the beach (some have never been to the beach).
- building confidence to talk in front of others in a big group.
- the discussion and being part of the group.
- Opportunity to get to know Bendigo Community Health Services.
- The food and drinks supplied.