Bolstering educational support for refugee young people 

In response to CMY’s advocacy on the importance of additional learning support for refugee students, in 2007 CMY was funded by the Victorian Government to establish the first statewide, coordinated and comprehensive approach to the delivery of Out of School Hours Learning Support Programs (OSHLSPs) – Learning Beyond the Bell (LBB). The program remains a significant initiative for CMY. Over time, and through a process of review and adaptation, LBB has expanded to support over 130 OSHLSPs across Victoria today.

In 2008, CMY worked in partnership with Foundation House to begin offering the Ucan2 program, an innovative program developed in response to identified challenges posed by the education and employment systems for newly arrived refugee young people. Ucan2, which remains a current program at CMY, matches volunteer mentors to support their transitions across education, training and employment. CMY delivers the volunteer component of this partnership program. Volunteers are recruited and supported to share their personal knowledge and experience with newly arrived refugee young people to assist them with creating a pathway into further learning, training or employment opportunities.

In 2012, the continued partnership with Foundation House led to the development of the Refugee Education Support Program, another ongoing initiative. This program has had a focus on building the capacity of school personnel to support positive outcomes for students from refugee backgrounds and has involved working with school clusters to create learning communities in which practice and ideas can be shared.