Resources

These materials were developed in response to the frustration reported by many refugee communities in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria who find the laws and rights relating to family life in Australia confusing and challenging.

They were produced as part of the ARC Funded Linkage Project - The Meaning of Rights in Refugee Settlement. In this important project, researchers from the UNSW Centre for Refugee Research worked with partner agencies and refugee communities to explore how understandings of human rights influence refugee settlement in Australia and to develop policy and service responses.

The Human Rights Training Package is available here.

Reciprocal research

Reciprocol research describes the process of giving something back to the refugee community in return for their input to the research. These materials were developed by Associate Professor Eileen Pittaway and Dr Linda Bartolomei former directors of the UNSW Centre for Refugee Research.

Community Consultations Using Reciprocal Research Methodologies is ideally a five day training program that will provide participants with:

  • understanding of and practice in using a Human Rights Framework
  • the tools and knowledge to run Reciprocal Research Community Consultations
  • ability to identify challenges to meaningful consultation and community participation
  • the opportunity to use the skills needed to run effective community consultations in a safe environment
  • the opportunity for participants to adapt training materials to suit the needs of the groups with whom they work
  • knowledge and skills for working with informal (untrained) interpreters, and multiple language groups

Outcomes

Participants will be able to confidently undertake effective consultations with diverse communities, focusing on a wide range of community concerns.

The participants will be able to identify a number of issues and challenges faced when consulting with communities and will develop strategies to implement positive changes in response to these.

Participants will develop the skills to ensure meaningful consultation with communities, with measurable outcomes.

Training kit

The Reciprocal Research Training Kit is made up of three complementary components:

Human rights in Australia

Human rights training package

These booklets make up a training package to assist newly arrived refugees understand how the human rights conventions are applied in Australia and what it means to family life.

It was developed at the request of representatives of a number of recently arrived refugee communities who took part in a consultation held by AMES Victoria and the UNSW Centre for Refugee Research in 2010. The Consultation was about exploring solutions for the problems some families are experiencing as they settle into their new home in Australia.

This training package was one of their suggestions.

'A family guidebook which clearly explain rights and responsibilities… It would help our society here' (Community member)

Click here to access the following booklets:

  • Human Rights in Australia
  • Women's Rights in Australia
  • The Rights of Children in Australia

These booklets have also been translated into eight community languages: Arabic, Burmese, Dari, Farsi, Hazaragi, Karen, Kiswahili and Tamil.

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank:

  • All the participants who came to Australia as refugees, and who contributed their time, experience and suggestions about how to assist new arrivals as they settle into Australia.
  • The AMES staff who participated in the process and contributed to the production of this booklet.
  • Final thanks to the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs for funding the translation of this booklet into eight community languages.

Celebrating refugee lives: stories of strength and resilience

In this toolkit you will find the inspirational stories of successful refugees living in Australia. These stories challenge and shatter many of the myths circulating about refugee communities. By sharing in the lives and achievements of refugees, we hope to raise awareness about the journey of resettlement and the extraordinary strength and resilience it takes to both survive and succeed in a new country.

This toolkit highlights the inspiring contributions and successes of refugees settling in Australia. The materials are designed as a community education resource to enhance understanding of refugee experiences and to dispel the often damaging myths which impact upon resettling groups.

The toolkit includes:

Surviving war, surviving peace (second edition)

This is a training kit for people working with refugee children who have survived torture and trauma. Suitable for Teachers, Counsellors, service providers etc.

This kit was generously sponsored by the Ian Potter Foundation.

Development of Surviving War, Surviving Peace

The concept for this training grew out of a research project of the Australian National Committee on Refugee Women (ANCORW) in 1999, which aimed to identify prevention and early intervention techniques for professionals working with refugee children. That research identified the key roles of the school community in addressing issues of trauma in refugee children.

Refugee children and young people, their parents, teachers and counsellors, were involved at all stages of the planning and production of these materials. The video was their original idea. They produced the four graphics for the brochures, piloted and commented on the text, and helped to decide the content and presentation of the video.

Permission, in their own language and with a full explanation of the reason for the project was sought from the parents of younger children and all participants were free to withdraw material depicting them or their ideas at any stage of the process.

This training does not address the teaching and learning challenges that arise from lack of formal schooling and low literacy and numeracy levels.

The resource is intended to support school personnel who come into contact with refugee students, particularly teachers and school counsellors, to understand the effects of the refugee experience and to undertake the task of meeting the resultant psychological and welfare needs of their refugee students.

Refugee children and young people have a natural resilience which can assist them to overcome the horrors of the refugee experience. The main focus of this resource is to explore how this resilience can be nurtured in the school environment by providing teachers and counsellors with the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to effectively support and assist refugee students and to help to nurture and develop the students’ resilience.

Purpose of training

The training provides information about the refugee experience and the sorts of trauma refugee students are likely to have suffered. It enables teachers and counsellors to understand the high risk of poor mental health in refugee children and to identify reactions to trauma, including post-traumatic stress symptoms. It helps to explain the difficulties that refugee students may have in settling into the school environment.

The training also focuses on helping refugee students recover from their experiences through appropriate early intervention strategies that aim to holistically support the students and their families in the resettlement process.

Training kit

This kit contains materials to support five training sessions:

Manual for trainers (PDF) [346 Kb]: providing an overview of the training and details for presentations of each session, including participant activities.

Training sessions

Background reading: one set for each training session

PowerPoint presentations: one set for each training session

From horror to hope: Addressing domestic violence in refugee communities resettled in Australia

This training kit is designed for community and government workers who come into contact with refugee families resettled in Australia, who are either experiencing or at risk of experiencing, domestic and family violence. The material will assist workers to understand the complexity of the refugee experience, and the ways in which this can make families vulnerable to domestic violence.

We would like to thank the Hon, Sandra Nori MP for the Foreword to this kit (PDF) [26 Kb].

The kit contains:

  • An introduction
  • 8 individual sessions and additional background materials
  • Powerpoint presentation for each session
  • DVD with discrete sections
  • Handouts
  • Sessions

The sessions are:

Sessions 1-2 examine some of the many issues and experiences that refugees encounter during their journey, the experiences of refugees as they often struggle to settle into their new life, and the special needs of refugee women. These sections are based on the reported stories of refugees themselves. It is crucial information for anyone working with refugee communities.

Session 3 examines what resettlement means for refugees

Session 4 explores what we mean when we talk about domestic and family violence, and the impact of this on women and children.

In Session 5, we bring together our knowledge and understanding of the refugee experience with our understanding of Domestic Violence, and explore what this means for refugee families resettling in Australia who are experiencing this form of violence.

The final sessions 6 - 8 look at ways in which we can work with and assist refugee families to identify solutions and to develop new ways of coping with domestic and family violence as they work to rebuild their lives in their adopted new country.

UNHCR extended methodology resources

The UNHCR Extended Dialogue Methodology was developed from the Centre for Refugee Research’s Reciprocal Research methodology, for use by UNHCR staff and partners in field situations.

These resources are intended as additional resources to the UNHCR Extended Dialogue Methodology guide.

UNHCR Extended Methodology session slides

Training booklets