Newcomers are welcomed through the Refugee Language Program

Students have participated in the program from more than 60 different countries, including Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, China and Sri Lanka. With the federal government’s recent announcement of temporary humanitarian visas for Ukrainians displaced by the Russian invasion, the Refugee Language Program may soon be welcoming more students.

“The program provides opportunities that are simply not available elsewhere for refugees, who may be on temporary visas or even community detention visas, unable to study or work,” Ms Carnus said.

The programme’s volunteer base of teachers and tutors includes university staff, students and alumni, and has been largely funded through the generosity of donors.

However, during the pandemic, funding opportunities have been limited and the program now needs to attract more financial support from donors or partners to continue operating beyond 2022.

“In 2022, we hope to find new sources of funding to continue the incredibly important work of supporting people with few rights and contributing to the University’s efforts to improve lives. The program has already helped hundreds of refugees to establish a new life in Australia and we hope to continue to support many more,” Ms Carnus said.

Those looking to support the program can do so in several ways, including:

  • Volunteering to give private lessons to students,
  • Donate used or refurbished laptops for student use, or
  • Make a donation through the program’s fundraising page.

Visit the Refugee Language Program page for more information, or contact Program Coordinator Lesley Carnus at [email protected]

Ryan H. Bowman