Fitzroy Learning Network Annual Report - Page 9

Programs & Services Refugee Support Program 2012 has been another exceptionally busy year for FLN’s Refugee Support Program. There has been a steady increase in numbers of people accessing the service, particularly people from Afghanistan and South Sudan. The majority of new clients are self referred, directed to FLN by friends and family. However, we are still receiving a consistent number of referrals from other agencies, such as Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre, Napier Street Child and Family Resource Centre and Homeground Housing Service. Often these referring agencies provide a similar service to FLN, but are not able to continue working with refugees after the five-year threshold. Settlement support networks, such as the Yarra Settlement Forum, have identified this post five year support as a significant unmet need within refugee communities settling in Australia. It is fortunate that FLN programs continue providing support to clients who have been in Australia for more than five years. In June FLN was involved in a collaborative project for Refugee Week 2012. Every year the Yarra Settlement Forum produces an event during Refugee Week, which targets schools in the City of Yarra. These events are Fitzroy Learning Network Annual Report 2011/12 designed to raise awareness of refugee issues among secondary school students. This year we held a short film competition for Years 9 and 10 students. Finished films were then screened at the awards ceremony – Freedom from Fear Film Festival which was held on International Refugee Day, Wednesday 20 June at the Fitzroy Town Hall. The event was a success with positive feedback from both teachers and students of participating schools. We have already started planning for the 2013 event and many Yarra schools have shown interest in taking part next year. On Sunday 12 February FLN collaborated with the Melbourne-based fundraising collective ‘Sisters for Sisters’, to create an amazing night of music, dance and entertainment. The money raised by the Sisters for Sisters event went towards funding FLN’s new program – Women’s Wellbeing. The Women’s Wellbeing program currently consists of weekly wellness classes such as dance, yoga or tai chi, to encourage improved health and happiness through gentle and fun exercise. The project also gives marginalised women the opportunity to meet other women and build trusting relationships, in a positive social environment. 7