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Sydney’s First International Student Hub Launches

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Thanks to support and endorsements from over 50 community groups and businesses, the Sydney Alliance, in partnership with Sydney Community Forum was able to secure a grant of $100,000 from City of Sydney to get the pilot program running.

“The money will be used to pay for a professional social worker to support students in crisis and a community worker to facilitate social cohesion inside and outside the hub. We will run a busy schedule of capacity building workshops, community events and a range of activities that will improve the experience international students have in Sydney. While $100k is a good start, we actually need a total of $200k to fully resource the Hub. We are looking for additional funding so we can meet our goals for the pilot program and its sustainability in the long run”.  says Ms Olmos.

One of the first key initiatives the Hub will undertake is a series of nationality based “listening” events to fully understand the challenges unique to different student cultural groups. The first of these focused on Nepalese students, and saw more than 40 students contribute to discussions and focus groups about their experience in Australia. 

Other activities run by the Hub include hosting intensive leadership and civic action workshops to empower and inspire students to make change with the support of the Australian civil society, and a large-scale experience mapping project, where over 80 students will engage in a 6-month project to examine the student experience across the City of Sydney and develop recommendations on how it can be enhanced.

International Students contribute more than $40 billion to the Australian economy and we should value and support them in their journey”, says Mr. Costain from Go Study Australia.  “This project is unique as it is led by community groups from the ground up, and not a top down approach from the Government.  We are calling on all stakeholders to support this hub, from colleges, to insurance providers to former international students.  The Hub needs to raise an additional $100,000 so to resource the pilot program, then look to secure permanent funding from NSW Treasury and industry partners.”

Anyone able to support the hub, through financial or other means may do so by contacting Diana Olmos [email protected]

You may also donate directly by visiting: https://www.sydneyalliance.org.au/fosa_annual 

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