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LifeWorks is a not for profit organisation that provides family, couple and individual
counselling, education, training and workplace services in Victoria Australia.
Storming Towards Respect - Peer Mentoring Program with the Melbourne Storm
In 2012 LifeWorks facilitated the 'Storming Towards Respect' peer mentoring program with the Melbourne Storm and Reservoir High School.
Storming Against Violence: LifeWorks, Swinburne University and the Melbourne Storm
Storming Against Violence is a social mentoring program developed and facilitated by LifeWorks in collaboration with Swinburne University and the National Rugby League team, the Melbourne Storm.
The program was designed to address school retention, family violence and develop the values of respect and responsibility in Pacific Island and Indigenous youth communities. The program was delivered at two Melbourne schools — Glenroy Secondary College and Brunswick Secondary College — in 2010 and and the Bert Williams Crisis Service in Thornbury during 2011.
Chosen NRL players were paired with LifeWorks' specialist facilitators and together they co-facilitated a range of activities with small groups of students. The students were selected by the school in an effort to keep them engaged in either the school program or the school-work transition programs. With a focus on opening communication channels to identify key issues that may place the students at risk, subjects such as violence, health, substance abuse, family relationships, cultural expectations and support networks were explored. The final session of the program featured a presentation from each group and their allocated NRL player mentor.
Both the Melbourne Storm player-mentors and Year 9 students reported a positive experience. Not only did their understanding of the issues faced by young people increase, but also their awareness of the skills and support needed to overcome these challenges.
Comments from the students on what they liked most about the program included:
- “being able to say anything and talk about it”
- “knowing where to go for support if I need it like family or something”
- “talking about how to improve life growing up”.
Comments from the students on what they liked least about the program included:
- “nothing, I liked every part of it”
- “not much – it was all pretty good”
- “that it doesn’t go for longer because I really enjoyed it”.
LifeWorks supports the Rockbank NAIDOC Carnival
LifeWorks and an Outer Melbourne Suburban Sudanese Community
In early 2011, LifeWorks was approached to support members of a migrant Sudanese community in outer Melbourne with their transition to Australian life.
Their family relationships and conventions were being challenged and placed under significant pressure as they tried to assimilate into local society with its radically different social, economic, political, legal, cultural and physical structure.
Eager to strengthen their relationships and support their families in this stressful situation, the community worked with LifeWorks and participated in a program designed to raise awareness and understanding and to help them overcome some of the barriers to change.
As language was one of the many challenges this community faced, LifeWorks' facilitators utilised a number of engaging hands-on activities to explore both the similarities and differences between the Australian and Sudanese ways of life whilst also acknowledging the energy and effort required to make the transition to Australia.
Whilst members of the group continue to face significant challenges because of their transition, the program offered an opportunity for them to share their experiences, tell their story and validate their journey. With increased understanding they are now better equipped to strengthen their relationships within both their traditional and new communities.