National Youth Leadership Program - MUSTER Initiative

The Australian Multicultural Foundation (AMF) delivered a National Youth Leadership Program as part of the Australian Commonwealth Department of Social Services Mutual Understanding, Support, Tolerance, Engagement and Respect (MUSTER) Initiative. The program aimed to empower and build the resilience, capacity and confidence of young people, including young Muslims and those at risk of marginalisation and/or social exclusion across Australia to become leaders and mentors within their own and the wider community to build social cohesion.

10-12 young people (18-28) from each state and territory were selected to participate in the program. The program incorporated a 2-day Adaptive Leadership training workshop, followed by a post-training phase in which groups applied the knowledge and skills gained in the workshop to design and implement local initiatives. Each group was supported by a Project Coordinator appointed by a local host organisation.

The program culminated in graduation events organised by youth leadership groups in each state and territory held across May- July 2020. A virtual national graduation event, organised by the AMF in partnership with MoAD, will be held on the 18th August 2020, in which leadership groups will present their local project learnings and outcomes to one another.

Details of each initiative can be found below.

ACT

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) youth leadership group have developed a web series that is a one-stop-shop of information linking vulnerable Canberrans to service provider / charities offering COVID-19 support programs. The team tailored their web series to Canberra's refugee / vulnerable migrant / international student community engaging a range of service providers / charities in this space.

The aim of this web series was to utilise the networking power of young Canberrans to distribute information through service providers, community organisations and student social networks so this web series had a positive and effective grassroots impact in doing so, the team hopes that critical information can reach the people who need it the most.

The web series includes:

  • a 5 min video (in English) providing an overview of Canberra based support programs, local government policies and general information around COVID-19; and
  • an accompanying infographic fact sheet translated into 11 languages that represent the most vulnerable non-English speaking backgrounds in the ACT community.

The initiative has received media coverage and the group has been invited to showcase the resources at the Australian National University (ANU) Open Day.

Click on the languages below to access translated infographics:

View the video below:

NSW

The initiative designed and implemented by the New South Wales (NSW) Youth Leadership group aimed to generate a greater understanding of Islam throughout the wider NSW community.

A 5 minute social media video was created to address certain aspects of Islam that often have negative connotations associated to them or are misunderstood by the wider community including halal food, dress code and why Muslims pray 5 times a day. The group also developed a community survey, which they used to collect data to inform the information presented in the video.

The project was published in the Turkish News Press on 14 July 2020. The video will be distributed widely to Muslim and non-Muslim community organisations, youth centres and schools to integrate into their learning streams or share via their social media platforms. Informal agreements with Muslim organisations that have a large social media following to promote the video have already been secured.

View the video below:

QLD

The Queensland (QLD) Youth Leadership group aimed to tackle the problem of a lack of employment opportunities and discrimination in the workplace for culturally diverse youth through building relationships with local employers to discuss employment of culturally diverse youth, educating them about state government legislation, policies and acts, and encouraging them to develop organisational Multicultural Action Plans that will create safe, diverse and inclusive work environments.

A final report was submitted by the group, however the original intention to interview organisations was not completed due to COVID-19 restrictions at the time of the project implementation. Furthermore, the group were young people who relied on part time work to support themselves, which was severely impacted during COVID restrictions and reduced their capacity to continue working on the original project.

SA

The South Australian (SA) Youth Leadership initiative that aimed to inform multicultural communities across SA on the latest information regarding COVID-19 and where they can seek tailored support in dealing with the pandemic.

The group developed an Emergency Information Pack, in the form of a brochure. It included the SA Health official hotline and interpreting services; details of community service programs to support community members; and information from Government websites regarding symptoms, reducing risk, what to do if you show symptoms and where to seek medical advice. The information pack was translated into 6 different languages used within the Muslim community. The group also developed a promotional video to assist with distribution of the resources.

The information pack will be dissemintaed via social media platforms as well as through businesses, schools and community networks in areas with a high Muslim population.

Access translated information packs by clicking on the following links:

WA

The How’s Your Haal? (HYH) Project is a youth-driven community initiative that seeks to reignite the conversation about mental health for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) youth in Western Australia (WA). The heart of this project is about creating “brave spaces” for conversation about mental health, both amongst youth in CALD communities, and between CALD Youth, Community Leaders and Service Providers.

Consultations were held with community leaders and service providers about their experience working with young people from CALD and converstations facilitated with 90 young people from CALD backgrounds on the topic of mental health.

The intiative received media coverage through universities and independent podcasts and has been widely promoted and supported via youth and multicultural agencies and social media.

A findings report was circulated to all participants – both young people and service providers is also being finalised.The group is enthusiastic about continuing the How’s Your Haal? Project and are currently developing a partnership with Headspace and Befriend to collaborate for a grant.

VIC 

The Victorian (VIC) Youth Leadership group created an anthology of stories from people in the Victorian Muslim community showcasing the experiences and/or struggles of ‘ordinary’ Muslim Australians to facilitate connections between individuals from non-Muslim and Muslim backgrounds, and to highlight that Muslims, like everybody else, are human.

Interviews were conducted with Muslim community members and transcripts edited and published into a book. An instagram page was developed which has gained a following of over 200 people. A book launch is scheduled to be held in August, 2020.

TAS

The Tasmanian (TAS) Youth Development Program, also known as the Tasmanian Muslim Youth Stars developed an online Survival Hub, which connects new Muslim migrants to services and information that will support their settlement in Hobart, addressing specific issues that Muslims face when arriving in Tasmania.

Developed an online Survival Hub (www.taslim.com.au), which connects new Muslim arrivals to the range of services that are required to settle in Hobart. The hub consists of 2 parts:

  1. Services that would be needed by a migrant from the moment that they arrive at Hobart airport.
  2. Detailed information that would be important for a Muslim arrival in a new home.

The team intend to continue to run the hub, by revising and updating the content.

They are also eager to develop partnerships with other organisation to promote the hub and to adapt the model to be used by all emerging migrant communities.

NT

The Northern Territory (NT) project aimed to explore the issue of identity and to tackle issues of identify crisis for youth from CALD backgrounds.

The group developed a training toolkit and facilitated virtual evidence-based workshops for young people from CALD backgrounds to explore and learn about their identity and individuality, and designed and distributed a survey to determine the specific factors of identity that youth from CALD backgrounds were struggling with to help structure and tailor the workshops. The group plans to improve the workshop and continue to deliver it to relevant audiences.