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History sheds light on experiences of child refugees

History sheds light on experiences of child refugees

Image: The University of Melbourne logo Image credit: The University of Melbourne

ARC Australian Laureate Fellow, Professor Joy Damousi from The University of Melbourne, has brought together a team of talented researchers to carry out an extensive five-year project looking at the history of child refugees in Australia.

A crucial aspect of the project has been the work the team has recently done within local communities to generate new and powerful understandings of the impact and experience of living as a child refugee in Australia throughout the 20th and early 21st century, but also today.

In the first phase of its community engagement, the researchers partnered with Fitzroy Primary, a school with one of the highest enrolments of child refugees in Victoria.

“With several colleagues from the Faculty of Music and funding from the Victorian Women's Trust, the Dennoch Fund and Vanraay Family Fund, we’re helping develop a music program at the school,” said Professor Damousi.

“In so doing, our conscious aim is to enhance educational learning for children from refugee backgrounds and foster positive intercultural engagement within their immediate community.”

The research has been supported by a grant from the Melbourne Humanities Foundation with matching funds from the Scanlon Foundation, enabling the team to partner with Kids’ Own Publishing and the History Teachers Association of Victoria to publish books written by the children. These will be used to teach history within Victorian primary and secondary schools, and running workshops for teachers to assist them in using the resources in the classroom.

Media issued by The University of Melbourne.

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