Making a difference in the lives of young migrants


North Melbourne Football Club has been recognised for its work in transforming the lives of young people from diverse backgrounds at the Centre for Multicultural Youth’s MY Education Awards.

Minister for Education James Merlino recently presented the awards, which recognise excellence in homework clubs as well as outstanding contributions made by volunteer tutors, students and schools.

More than 10,000 primary and secondary students – many from refugee or migrant backgrounds – attend 250 homework clubs across Victoria, an official press release said.

The clubs are supported by the Centre for Multicultural Youth and are run through schools and community organisations, with around 2,000 volunteers giving up their time to help the students.

The Huddle, run by the North Melbourne Football Club, received a special award for excellence in its homework clubs and support programs, which have helped more than 50,000 young people from culturally diverse backgrounds since it began in 2010.

Temira Mohammed and Kani Ben were jointly awarded the Outstanding Primary Student Award.

10-year-old Temira arrived from Ethiopia in early 2014 and attends the homework club run by Noble Park Primary School, while Kani attends the Diversity Homework Club run by the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council.

Akbar Ali and Rose Ojjaba were joint winners of the Outstanding Secondary Student award – both students attend homework clubs run by the Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre in Dandenong.

The Outstanding Volunteer Tutor award was won by Walter Valles, who for the past five years has dedicated his Saturday mornings to help refugee and migrant young people through the Dandenong Tutoring Program.

The Gleneagles Secondary College Homework Club was recognised as the Outstanding School Program. Aiming High, a VCE study program run by Broadmeadows-based Banksia Gardens Community Services, won the Outstanding Out-Of-School-Hours Learning Support Program award. (TIW)