Access staff members Kenny Duke and Chantal Gallant recently participated in the Parliamentary Inquiry into School to Work Transitions on November 9. Access provided a multicultural community context among those invited to the inquiry, which included TAFE, industry boards and universities. The inquiry will play a significant role in future policy to support migrants and refugees to reach employment outcomes and active citizenship. Below is an excerpt of the transcript:

Ms Duke: I want to add that it's very important to bridge the gap between community, schools and education. If you're bringing community in – like we have done in some schools – the parents, because they trust us as a settlement provider, are more likely to listen to the school and their suggestions. We have done a lot of work with parents around that education component of community education around changing mindset and cultural shifts from the traditional: go and get a degree and then get a job. The school has also come to the party to support us around that. If community and education continue to be a gap then how the community feels and how the school is reacting becomes a bit of a barrier.

MP Ms BUTLER: Do you think that one of the reasons that parents want their children to go to university is because of the published data on the lifelong earnings of people with degrees compared to people without degrees on average? It's a lot more.

Ms Duke: Yes. 

Ms Ellis: I think it's definitely part of the reason.

Ms Duke: In our case, some of our cohort of clients have gone through difficult journeys to come here and one of the biggest reasons they do it is for their children to progress and succeed. In their view, to do that, they need to go to university and obtain a career. We do a lot of initial work around promoting different options, and we work really closely with TAFE in our area around the vocational pathways and bringing that to the school through the myzones, which is the hub-based model we use.

To view the full transcript, click here.