June 19-25 is Refugee Week, a week where the Refugee Council of Australia seeks to inform the public about refugees and celebrates the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.
In response to a need for information and support, Pines Learning recently had a speaker from the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre come out to speak to our team of English language trainers about the current state of play for refugees in Australia and the forms of assistance the ASRC offers.
We learnt a lot. Currently there are approximately 60 million displaced people across the world and at least 20 million of those would be considered refugees under current criteria. Pines Learning and the ASRC works with people who have applied for refugee status and who are awaiting an outcome, there are about 24, 000 of these people living in communities across Australia.
In 2014 our world ranking in terms of total number of refugees being accepted was 50th, when compared to our population size we ranked 67th and when compared to our wealth ( GDP ), Australia ranked 84th. Of course, the situation has worsened markedly since then when we think about current events in Syria and Europe.
The ASRC is able to offer many forms of assistance to people in this situation who are currently not allowed to work and PL is able to offer English classes at a subsidised rate in certain circumstances. We also work with local community organisations like Doncare to provide further assistance when required.
Pines Learning is proud of its commitment to helping those in most need right across our community and helping refugees is just another example of this. Learning English is not just about language, it’s about community connectedness and social engagement. It’s about understanding your community and the people around you. It’s about finding your place in a new and strange place. It’s about making friends.