Deakin CREATE.

“Thank you, you have become my Australian family.” This was the heart-warming response from a refugee who was participating in the Deakin CREATE program over lockdown. He’d moved, by himself, to Geelong only a few months prior.

Deakin CREATE – Centre for Refugee Employment, Advocacy, Training and Education was founded February 2019 to support local refugees and asylum seekers in finding meaningful employment or higher education. It is run under the School of Business and Law and offers a number of services including a free careers clinic.

Deakin handshake

Karen, Luke and Alex coordinate the 7-week free careers clinic, a new addition to CREATE. It was due to run when covid lockdown struck and in 4 days it had to be turned in to an online clinic. “We found this had a silver lining as there were many benefits, including offering support for socially isolated new arrivals. Currently it is run in Victoria but could be run nationally. We can see the clinic eventually moving to a blended mode.”

The upcoming free clinic for local refugees and asylum seekers will start again on July 29th so make sure you book in by July 22nd. You can find out more by clicking on the link below

Deakin CREATE Careers Clinic Form -2020. In case of an error, please follow this link

“I feel like the match maker as I match mentees with mentors. Often these relationships transcend in to friendships. We were going to break bread, with the first session including sharing food from a different culture.” Luke explains. “The clinic sequentially covers different topics ranging from career planning to interviews and beyond.”

Karen adds “Geelong has become a hub for large corporations and it’d be great to see them embracing their diversity strategies. There are so many benefits in employing skilled, multi-lingual people. Deakin CREATE is helping our refugees and people-seeking asylum, but we also see many international students stay on or move back to our region to make it their homes. We are lucky to live in a multicultural community.” CREATE also offers a wealth of information and resources for employers.

Last week was Refugee Week and it was a pleasure finding out about Deakin CREATE. Our new team member Hadeel has just completed the careers clinic and spoke highly of it and the friendship she has formed with her mentor Puva. Watch out for Puva’s story.

Story: Jacqui Bennett. Photo: supplied