February News: New Venue for Coffee & Conversations, Let’s Lead 2018 Launched & More

Our youth programs aim to guide young refugees (aged 12-24 years) through their transition to life in Australia, with targeted programs promoting well-being, personal development, social engagement, and positive leadership.

February has been all about implementing planned activities and ‘getting stuck in’ to the job of making 2018 an impactful year here at SCARF. Our programs have been ticking along, we’ve held a Social Inclusion event, launched a new activity and hosted training sessions, to name a few of the things we’ve been up to!

SCARF Women’s Night:

On February the 24th, we held the first Women’s Night of the year here at SCARF. Our Women’s Nights are a part of our Social Inclusion program, and are an opportunity for women from all backgrounds to share culture, friendship and enjoy a night out in a safe space. The evening was an all-round success, with plenty of dancing, laughter and lots delicious home-made food devoured. Thank you to our Social Inclusion Coordinators, Maureen and Caroline, for making the event possible.

‘Let’s Lead’ Leadership Program Launches:

On the 3rd of March, the ‘Let’s Lead’ program was officially launched following a pilot program last year. ‘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. SCARF has partnered with Cameron Brown from Explore Discover Act for the delivery of the program. We can’t wait to see the wonderful young people engaged in the program realise their potential in 2018!

Coffee and Conversation has moved!

Coffee and Conversation is a casual weekly get-together for community members from refugee backgrounds to meet each other, make new friends and practice English with the SCARF volunteer Coffee & Conversation Team. The sessions have moved from the SCARF office to Pioneer Hall, MacCabe Park, 84 Church St, Wollongong.

Record numbers at SCARF’s Homework Club:

SCARF’s Homework Club for primary school students from refugee backgrounds, delivered in partnership with St Mary Star of the Sea College, has enrolled 24 students – the highest amount in the program’s history. Congratulations to the hard-working Homework Club team for increasing our outreach and impact in our community.

‘The More You Know’ Storytelling Project Launches:

Bear Hunt Photography, SCARF and women from the SCARF community have collaborated to produce ‘The More You Know’: a series of photo essays featuring women from refugee backgrounds from within the SCARF community. Accompanying these photographs are stories told by women – about their own lives, experiences, the world and everything in between. The first instalment features Narges, Masoumeh and Golsoum – three generations of Afghan-Australian women living in the Illawarra. Further essays will follow over the coming weeks and months.You can view the first photo-essay here. 

RCOA Community Education Program Training:

On 17th and 24th March, SCARF hosted a training program for community members from refugee backgrounds interested in joining SCARF’s Community Education program.  Under this program, SCARF volunteer community educators and speakers from refugee backgrounds prepare presentations for students, teachers, local businesses and other interested groups to build understanding the refugee experience. Through sharing personal stories and giving audiences the opportunity to learn about refugee journeys, we aim to provide an informed narrative on refugee issues and promote the positive contribution that refugee entrants make to our community and our country.


Training facilitators from the Refugee Council of Australia – Deena, Maya and Jonell delivered a ‘hands-on’ practical training for 12 participants from refugee backgrounds.  Training content included:
  • An overview of SCARF’s Community Education program
  • Techniques for planning and presenting personal stories in a safe and empowering way
  • Strategies for answering questions from the audience
  • Skills in working as a team with a co-presenter
  • The importance of self-care and support

Participants included community members originally from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, Congo.  All participants delivered eye-opening and empowering presentations at the end of the training, and all appreciated the opportunity to  gain skills and experience in sharing their story with different audiences.  The training was supported by SCARF’s dedicated Community Education team – Sophie-May, Teegan and Keziah.


We would like to thank the wonderful trainers from the Refugee Council of Australia for travelling to Wollongong and generously sharing their time, experience and expertise for the benefit of SCARF participants.