15/9/09 Ten Years Celebration of Newcomers Network in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia sponsored by Toll Transitions
Date: 15 September 2009 Event name: Newcomers Network Ten Years Celebration Venue: Toll Transitions, Level 8, 380 St Kilda Road, Melbourne Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm Guests: 98 Cost: Free Sponsored by: Newcomers Network and Toll Transitions Views on Event Registration Page: 717 Event Description: On Wednesday 15 September 1999, Sue Ellson met with Fabian Fiore who convinced her to take her idea of a 'From Out of Town Club' into a meaningful project for people who have moved to Melbourne.
Shortly afterwards, Sue Ellson gained permission from her final undergraduate university subject lecturer to complete a research project where she surveyed 96 people who had moved to Melbourne within the last five years. This research formed the basis of the formation of 'Newcomers Network.'
Since then, an enormous range of:
. events have been organised (social, business, networking and information sharing)
. advocacy work has been completed
. information has been published on a variety of editions of this website
. further research has been undertaken and useful publications produced
. friends and networks have been established
. expansion has occurred with representation now in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide
This event has been designed to bring together people in the 'relocation and settlement' industry who are in some way connected to the issues facing newcomers. It will be an opportunity to celebrate some of the achievements that have occurred in the last 10 years in this industry and to network with the 'movers and shakers.' It will also be a time to honour those individuals who have supported Newcomers Network in various ways and have contributed to its ongoing success. Speaker/Facilitator:
Sally will be discussing:
1) The story of her ‘Understanding Australia’
2) The essential components of effective settlement in Australia (from the perspective of government, the individual and the society)
3) Students and migrants settling in Australia
Sally White is the author of two journalism textbooks, a history of Australian families and the recently released Understanding Australia: a guide for international students.
She was a senior journalist and executive on The Age in Melbourne for 16 years before moving into journalism education. She coordinated the journalism course at RMIT in the mid-1990s and later taught at the China School of Journalism in Beijing.
Her interest in international affairs and cross-cultural communication led to her being a member of the Australian National Commission of UNESCO in the early 1980s, a member of the Australian Red Cross committee on humanitarian law and a member of a four-person UNESCO Monitoring Committee on Communications Policy in Asia and Oceania.
She has travelled widely, particularly in Asia.
Sally holds a BA Honours in history and politics and a MA Honours in history and philosophy of science from the University of Melbourne. She also holds a Cambridge certificate in teaching English as a foreign language to adults.
In recent years Sally has expanded her knowledge of Chinese culture through Chinese brush painting. She has just held her first solo exhibition and was a finalist in this year's Corangamorah Art Prize.
Guest Speaker - Mark Wright
Mark will be discussing migration/movements in/out of Australia both historically and the current/future trends.
Mark Wright is the Managing Partner and Director of Greenberg Australia, a global corporate immigration firm. As Managing Partner, Mark has overall responsibility for the Greenberg Australia operations and strategic direction.
Mark has worked as a Human Resources Director with a major Commonwealth Government organisation and has held management positions with the Department of Immigration in Australia.
Immediately prior to working with Greenberg Australia, Mark was a founding partner with Fragomen in Australia, and prior to this was a partner with the Global Visa Solutions Practice in PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mark is a Registered Migration Agent in Australia (MARN 9793644) and a member of the Migration Institute of Australia, as well as being a former member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, and the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce in Australia.
Mark has advised on immigration law since 1994 and is widely respected as one of Australia's leading corporate immigration advisors. His clients include many of the world's largest multinational corporations from the United States of America, United Kingdom, and Europe. Clients also include major Australian corporations, small and medium size enterprises and start up companies.
Mark has significant experience in providing immigration legal advice and visa services to companies in sectors such as financial services, mining and resources, including off-shore oil and gas, information technology and telecommunications, retail, science and engineering and health.
Guest Speaker - Caroline Pampling
Caroline will discuss:
1) Her role in a bit more detail
2) A brief overview of the recent past and current plans in relation to immigration policy in Australia (statistics on numbers, countries of origin, formula for working out policy etc)
3) What DIAC in Victoria does in relation to helping migrants settle here
4) How Australians can help new arrivals settle in Australia
Caroline Pampling is the Regional Outreach Officer for the Victorian office of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Her principle role is to assist employers, plus state and local government stakeholders with information about skilled entry visas. She has worked with DIAC since February 2004 and has worked in various client service and case management roles in the department before starting her outreach role in January 2008.
Event designed for:
. past supporters, advertisers, guest speakers, employees, contractors, assistants, contacts, colleagues, committee members, newcomers and friends of Newcomers Network
. people in the global mobility, relocation and settlement industry including relocation professionals, HR managers, migration agents, service providers, trainers
. industry and government representatives, recruiters, employers, organisations representing newcomers and migrants
New Zealand, Canada, England, Holland, North Africa
Barrister and Solicitor
Lily Ong Business Lawyers & Migration Consultants
Hong Kong SAR China
USA, France, Spain, New Zealand
Australiawide Relocations Pty Ltd
Managing Partner and Director
Freelance Journalism and Editorial Services
University High School
King Saud University
Australiawide Relocations Pty Ltd
Neeraj and Garima Shrivastav
Ojas Group Pty Ltd
AFL Multicultural Project Coordinator
Australian Football League
Believe You Can Coaching and Consulting
Senior Software Engineer
India , New Zealand, Australia
Netherlands, Brasil, Malaysia
Group Remuneration and Reward Manager
Sally Dixon Consulting
Canada, USA, Asia
Affabel Executive Relocation Services
Malaysia, UK., Hong Kong
Just Group Ltd
Rainsford and Associates
University of Melbourne
India, USA, Bulgaria
Balcombe Serviced Apartments
Community Engagement Officer | North West Metropolitan Region
Department of Planning and Community Development
ParkSide Boutique Serviced Apartment
International Student Advisor International Student Information & Support (ISIS) Student Services Group
Notes from Sally White:
Newcomers Network 10th birthday notes
I am here because Sue Ellson is a very persuasive woman. Sue asked me to talk about the background to my book Understanding Australia and make some comments about effective settlement.
It began about 15 years ago when I was teaching journalism at RMIT University and I had a number of international students. They were highly intelligent and hard-working students but not fully effective until the eve of their return home.
I asked myself what was going wrong?
. were educational institutions letting them down?—perhaps. Most institutions were beginning to increase their basic services to international students but they tended to deal in absolutes and practicalities: housing, health, study skills.
were their fellow students letting themselves down?—certainly there was a reluctance among many Australian students to welcome international students into their social groups and some resentment based on the false idea that overseas students were taking domestic students’ places
were they letting themselves down?—perhaps. It was hard to tell because the students found it virtually impossible to express their anxieties and bewilderment.
I couldn’t decide what lay at the heart of the problem
-then came my own experiences of living and working in China in 1996 and 1999.
-the most important experience was the sense that every morning when I woke I would be faced with an incident or an attitude or a remark that challenged my assumptions about the way society, and individuals within that society, operated.
That was the start of the answer. It seems self-evident now but it was only then that I realised that it was the gradual and unconscious accumulation of social knowledge that made me able to operate successfully, both personally and professionally, in Australia. It was that social knowledge—or cultural knowledge—that my international students had lacked.
I looked around and there were masses of textbooks about accountancy, or IT or biomedicine. There were even the beginnings of guides to what the Australian style of education was and what was expected of students. But there was no introductory text to Living in Australia 101. No guidance about how to graduate with that second all-important degree: a bachelor’s degree in living in a foreign country.
That’s what I wanted Understanding Australia to be. I wanted to provide a rough outline of Australian history, politics, social habits, geography, language, humour and demography that would enable students to understand better what made Australians tick, why they acted—and reacted—the way they did.
It wasn’t easy to sell the idea. I had a publisher who had published my two journalism texts and he was interested but his sales department said there was no call for such a book. I put the idea on the back burner and set about making a living as a freelance writer. But I intermittantly continued the research and, of course, kept thinking about what made Australians tick.
Then my publisher started his own small publishing business and we developed a outline, sample chapter and sales pitch and approached a number of universities to see if they would underwrite the publication. It seemed like good PR to us for a university to send a complimentary copy to all enrolled students before they arrived in the country. No dice!
Then six years ago, my publisher moved to Cambridge University Press and persuaded them to give the book a go. But it is now out of print although Copyright Agency payments show me that several chapters are photocopied in large numbers throughout the country.
I learned a lot from the researching and writing Understanding Australia, much of it disheartening.
I learned that educational institutions—despite many committed and caring individuals who deal with international students—are, unsurprisingly, institutions. The emotional dimensions of studying in a strange land are not part of the institutional agenda.
I learned that Australian students can be cliquey and unwelcoming. Educational institutions can do much to break this down. In the classroom, for instance, teachers can ensure that group work mixes local and international students.
The practice of holding separate orientation programs for international students entrenches separateness. I suspect a common orientation program—with the occasional specialist section—would be preferable. What we do with Foundation Studies courses which by their very nature stream international students I don’t know. Perhaps the Vietnam model is a good one where students do a foundation studies course before they arrive in Australia. We trialled Understanding Australia with those students and it was seen as very useful for them.
I learned that international students are often their own worst enemies. Like all newcomers, when the numbers are large enough, they create ghettoes, physical and mental. It’s understandable to seek out the comfort of those whose experience is similar to your own. But it doesn’t broaden your understanding of the new land or its people. The concentration of student housing in the Melbourne CBD, for example, has probably enriched property developers but it’s not particularly enriching for the students.
Sue asked me to talk about the essential components of effective settlement in relation to government, the society and the individual. I’ll pass on government as that’s Caroline’s area of expertise.
Here are a few ideas that might constitute components of effective settlement. My emphasis is on the individual because although societies change, they do so slowly, so the real pressure to adjust lies with the individual. Although I have more experience with the needs of international students, I suspect these ideas apply equally well to all newcomers. Some may sound self-evident but as I discovered when I was researching and writing Understanding Australia , what we Australians think is self-evident is often impenetrable to others.
--the appreciation that effective settlement is hard work. You need to read, listen, analyse and ask questions. Australians are good at responding to direct questions but they rarely volunteer information
--the willingness to ask for help. There is nothing shameful in asking for help. We all need it sometimes.
--recognition that many Australians, while not as insular as they once were, are as nervous about people from a different culture as those people are of Australians
--the fortitude to work through the inevitable periods of isolation and alienation without blaming either your host country or yourself.
--the mental toughness to acknowledge that Australian ways of doing things aren’t wrong, or right, just different