How We Can Help
If you are eligible to register as a community member, or if you are already part of our community, SCARF can help you with some of the challenges of building a new life in Australia. Please note that you will need to speak with SCARF before attending any of our programs.
The way we help is through our programs. As a SCARF community member, you can access as many of our programs as you need, for as long as you need. Information about each of our seven core programs is provided below.
SCARF is just one service providing support to refugee entrants in the Illawarra. For more information on other service providers, view the Refugee Communities in the Illawarra 2018 report prepared by Wollongong city Council.
The SCARF Befriending Program matches local volunteers with individuals and families from refugee backgrounds. Befrienders provide friendship and tailored support to the person they’re matched with, helping them to navigate their way through new and often challenging experiences. Typically, Befrienders meet once a week for two hours.
SCARF’s Education and Tutoring Program provides services to support the learning of primary, secondary and tertiary students from refugee backgrounds.
Our Homework Help program matches students from refugee backgrounds with volunteer tutors and is open to high-school aged students studying at school, college or TAFE. Homework Help runs twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday, 4-6pm) at Wollongong Library.
Our Homework Club program matches primary school students from refugee backgrounds with high school students from St Mary Star of the Sea College. Homework Club runs once a week at St Mary Star of the Sea College.
Our University Support program helps students at the University of Wollongong and UOW College. The program provides support and information about learning at University and about University services.
SCARF’s L2P Driving Program supports refugee entrants in the Illawarra to gain driving experience on Australian roads, obtain their provisional license and learn about road safety.
- L2P Mentoring session: We connect volunteer ‘driver-mentors’ with SCARF community members to help them to gain driving experience and prepare for the P-plate test. Some experience and skill is required to be accepted into the L2P program. Acceptance is at the discretion of L2P Coordinators. Please note there is a waiting list for L2P mentoring sessions.
- Other L2P Driving activities: We run regular information and training sessions to increase community awareness about safe driving, owning a car and navigating Australian licensing processes.
SCARF’s Social Inclusion Program engages people from refugee and non-refugee backgrounds in social, recreational and educational activities to promote harmony, inclusion and belonging.
Coffee and Conversation: Every week, SCARF hosts an informal group meet-up where people from refugee and non-refugee background can meet, chat and practice conversational English. Attendance at Coffee and Conversation is open to all SCARF community members on a drop-in basis. The sessions are held every Friday, 10.00am – 11:30am at Pioneer Hall (MacCabe Park, 84 Church St, Wollongong).
Social Inclusion events: SCARF regularly hosts activities such as excursions, Women’s Nights, celebration days, social gatherings and a weekly ‘Coffee and Conversation’ session for people of all ages as a part of the program. Emails are sent to our community with information about these events.
SCARF Youth programs support young refugee entrants to thrive in their new communities. SCARF Youth activities include a range of social, recreational and educational initiatives.
- Let’s Lead: ‘Let’s Lead’ is a 12-month leadership project for culturally and linguistically diverse youth (particularly refugee youth) offering opportunities for personal development, cross-cultural learning and community engagement. The program will aim to develop an ability to lead in daily thoughts, words, and actions through monthly workshops. SCARF has partnered with Cameron Brown from Explore Discover Act for the delivery of the program.
The Continuous Learning for Adults (CLA) Program supports SCARF community members and volunteers by providing opportunities for adult learning to enhance personal and professional development.
Job-Readiness Skills: SCARF offers group workshops and one-on-one support to assist community members to prepare a professional CV, write cover letters, complete job applications, make scholarship applications and prepare for job interviews.
Form-Filling Support: Assistance with forms is a common drop-in request at the SCARF Office. Community members with developing English skills experience difficulty understanding how to fill in a variety of forms, including Centrelink forms, rental applications, government housing applications, Opal card applications, school enrollment forms and more. SCARF offers two designated Form Filling Drop-in sessions a week: every Monday and Friday from 12-2pm.
Legal Aid Clinic at SCARF: SCARF has collaborated with Legal Aid to deliver a monthly clinic to assist the community with legal support. This collaboration responds to an increase in requests for support with complex documents such as citizenship, travel, immigration and family reunion forms.
SCARF’s Community Education Program supports volunteer community educators and speakers from refugee backgrounds to deliver tailored presentations for students, teachers, local businesses and other interested groups to help build understanding of the refugee experience.
SCARF is involved in a range of ongoing and one-off special projects which support our community, raise awareness about the refugee experience, and/or encourage community inclusion.
- The Burmese Community Garden Project: The Burmese Community Garden project provides a plot of land for families and individuals from within the Burmese community to grow and harvest food produce. For the Burmese Community, growing and harvesting vegetables is a valued practice from home that’s important to maintain. The community garden is a special bridge of connection for the Burmese community to feel close to their traditions. The project has been active since 2017 and is supported by Multicultural Communities Council of the Illawarra (MCCI) and SCARF. The land for the Burmese Community Garden is kindly arranged by St Therese Catholic Parish.
- Refugee Week activities, Harmony Day activities: SCARF aims to celebrate diversity as a part of Harmony Day (March 21) each year. In 2018, SCARF held a morning tea with an interactive musical activity and speakers from SCARF’s Community Education team.
- Other projects under this program include Refugee Week activities, Harmony Day activities, ‘A Mile in my Shoes’ audio exhibition, ‘The More you Know’ photography exhibition, and the SCARF Recipe Book Project.
Referring a client:
If you believe your client is eligible to register with SCARF and could benefit from our services, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 02 4224 8646