Students Against Racism

Inclusion programs in partnership with Students Against Racism

Students Against Racism is a group of students from diverse backgrounds based at TasTAFE and managed by English language teacher, Gini Ennals.

The group has won many awards for its workshops and presentations including:

In partnership with A Fairer World, the Students Against Racism deliver a three inclusion programs.

Living in Between is a multi-award winning anti-racism workshop that aims to create more inclusive schools and workplaces by providing an opportunity for Tasmanians to get to know people who have arrived as refugees and migrants. The workshop includes stories and activities that explore the consequences of racism and how it can be addressed. Over 10,000 people have participated in Living in Between workshops since its inception in 2008.

Funding is currently being provided by the Tasmanian Department of State Growth to pilot the Pathways to Opportunities project. The project aims to link young people from multicultural backgrounds with employers. It supports the young people to transition to part-time work and further study. As part of the program employers will have the opportunity to connect with the young people and also to experience the Living in Between workshop.

Women’s Business is a fashion show with a difference. Over the last five years it has been presented to the public in Launceston, Wynyard, Sorell, Kingston and Hobart. The show celebrates the cultures of Tasmanian women from migrant and refugee backgrounds and builds understanding and positivity about multiculturalism.

More information about the Students Against Racism and each of the projects is provided below.

Students Against Racism logo

Students Against Racism was formed in 2008 by a group of students who came to Tasmania as refugees and migrants from a diversity of countries and personal circumstances. Working with their teacher, Gini Ennals, the students developed a dramatic presentation, Living in Between, to explain why they left their homelands, the journey that brought them to Australia, and their lives now.

Their aim in developing the presentation was to be proactive in the face of the racism they encountered, which they felt came from a lack of understanding about why asylum seekers, refugees and migrants leave their home countries and settle in Tasmania.

Founders of the Students Against Racism believe that in diversity lies strength and by sharing stories and addressing misconceptions, we can build a stronger, more harmonious, community.

Students Against Racism, now based at TasTAFE, has delivered workshops to over 10,000 people in schools, workplaces, universities and TAFE classes, at conferences and with community groups across Tasmania and in other states.

Since 2015, Students Against Racism has also presented workshops as a part of the Tasmanian Police Recruit Training course. Over 220 young people from countries including Sudan, Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Bhutan, Burma, Ethiopia, Egypt, China, Thailand, Iran, Pakistan, India, Chile, Poland, Italy, Vietnam, Uganda, Burundi, Kuwait and Timor, have joined Students Against Racism and trained as presenters.

This group not only benefits the wider community through promoting cross-cultural understanding, it also has huge benefits for the participants, who are able to feel connected and welcome in their new home.

For more information visit the Students Against Racism Facebook page.

Living in Between is the name of the workshop presented in schools, workplaces and at events to educate about inclusion and cultural diversity. The workshop creates a safe place to discuss issues around culture, diversity and why people settle in Australia.

The workshop is tailored to each audience and can equally inspire and educate primary students and community leaders.

We believe that acts of discrimination and racism occur as a result of:

  • a lack of understanding about why refugees, asylum seekers and migrants leave their homelands and settle in Tasmania; and
  • a lack of opportunity for Tasmanians to get to know people who have arrived as refugees.

Living in Between allows Students Against Racism participants to explain why they left their homelands, the journey that brought them to Australia and their lives now, and in doing so to actively combat misinformation and prejudice.

Storytelling is the oldest form of education. People around the world have always told tales as a way of passing down their cultural beliefs, traditions, and history to future generations. When we know another’s story, we understand each other. When we understand one another, acceptance and empathy are created. Personal stories are memorable and inspirational.

Living in Between is an opportunity to learn first-hand about our differences and similarities through sharing stories about settling in Australia and the pain and pleasure of living between two cultures.

We are grateful to the organisations that have supported the development and running of the program since its inception in 2008, including Hobart College, TasTAFE, Tasmanian Community Fund, Sydney Myer Fund, Alcorso Foundation, Department of Immigration and Citizenship and Department of Social Services.

Pathways to Opportunities is a new partnership between Students Against Racism, A Fairer World and TasTAFE that is  being piloted in 2019 and 2021 with funding support from the Tasmanian Department of State Growth.

The project aims to link young people from multicultural backgrounds with employers. It supports young people, who are in their final year of intensive English at TasTAFE, to transition from their supported English program to part time work and/or further study.

This period is a challenging and daunting transition for any young person, and research show that those from a refugee, migrant or asylum seeker background encounter additional barriers as they generally lack both knowledge of the Australian labour market and the networks that can facilitate finding employment.

Concurrently, Tasmanian workplaces are undergoing significant changes; the Australian population is ageing and our community is becoming more diverse, which requires workers to become more competent in cross-cultural understanding.

The Pathways to Opportunities project will provide students with real training and workplace exposure whilst assisting employers and Tasmanian workplaces to build understanding and social connections with people from different cultural backgrounds. The project will foster understanding, inclusion and cultural competence for all involved and subsequently meet the needs and goals of both students and workplaces.

The project involves:

  1. Young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds creating, organising and delivering a cultural awareness workshop in a workplace to build understanding about communities settling in Tasmania. This workshop will also allow the young people to demonstrate to the employer their potential as employees with diverse experiences, high levels of resilience, a capacity to learn, and strong communication and teamwork skills.
  2. The employer will then provide work exposure opportunities for the young people. This could be a group tour, a shadowing opportunity for an individual or small group, one-on-one mentoring or a short work placement for a student who is interested in learning more – these possibilities are open to negotiation.

Through investing their time, energy and personal experiences into delivering the workshops, the young people will learn what it takes to be a worker and demonstrate to employers what they have to offer. The knowledge gained from these activities will assist the young people to make informed choices regarding their future study and employment pathways.

Employers interested in finding out more about the program and how to participate should contact Program Manager, Gini Ennals ([email protected]) or Project Officer, Emalia Al-Gadrie ([email protected]).

Casting crew of 2021

Women’s Business began in 2015 as a small, Hobart-based event that was designed to promote understanding and spread awareness about the rich cultural diversity of modern Tasmania. It celebrates the cultures and the journeys of Tasmanian women from migrant and refugee backgrounds and builds understanding and positivity about multiculturalism.

For Muslim women involved in the project, it is particularly powerful as it gives them the opportunity to confront misinformation and misunderstanding and explain the significance of their religious attire in a safe space. In many cultures it is traditional for women to come together to dress up, dance, sing and share stories, which is something that Women’s Business aims to honour with each women* -only performance (* people who identify as women).

Women’s Business aims to build relationships between established Australians and new Australians, develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the diversity of what it means to be a woman in Tasmania and to remove barriers, correct misinformation and celebrate the beauty of a multicultural society, with strong women at its core.

Women’s Business has been funded by the Tasmanian Government through the Multicultural Grants program to deliver shows in Launceston, Wynyard, Sorell, Kingston and four sold-out shows in Hobart. Over 140 women from diverse backgrounds have been involved over four years.

Women’s Business was honoured with the Tasmanian Human Rights Multicultural Award in 2016 for celebrating and showcasing multiculturalism in Tasmania.

Please follow the Women’s Business Facebook page for updates about the future of the project.

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