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July 13, 2020
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


A Zoom event under Chatham House rule
  • This event has passed.

Multicultural Young People – a problem or an asset?

Take a break with Carmel Guerra OAM

Hosted by:
Sally Arnold

July 13, 2020 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


The cultural diversity of Victoria’s youth population is on the rise. The 2016 ABS Census revealed that 48 per cent of young people in Victoria were either born overseas or had at least one parent born overseas — an increase from 10 years earlier.

But are our multicultural young people a problem or an asset?

Far too often the focus is on negative stories such as youth gangs, yet the contribution multicultural young people make to Victoria is immeasurable.

Carmel Guerra is the Chief Executive Officer at the Centre of Multicultural Youth (CMY) — Victoria’s first independent organisation to work exclusively with young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

CMY helps remove the barriers many young people face as they make Australia their home, through a combination of support services and programs, capability building, advocacy and knowledge sharing. Its work is largely focused in Melbourne’s growth corridors and regional centres with young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds aged from 12 to 25 years.

Along with the challenges of growing up, multicultural young people are adjusting to different cultural, academic and social expectations — and often shifting between cultures at home and outside the home. Their sense of wellbeing and belonging can be considerably diminished by factors such as racism and discrimination.

Despite these complex issues, multicultural young people have the enterprise, resilience and optimism to contribute to the continued prosperity of Australia.

An advocate for young people of refugee and migrant backgrounds for over 30 years, Carmel helped form the Ethnic Youth Issues Network in 1988 and in 2000 established the Centre for Multicultural Youth Issues. These organisations seeded CMY in 2007.

Carmel has served on numerous boards and committees and is currently a member of the Youth Parole Board of Victoria, the Victorian Children’s Council, the Migration Council of Australia and the SBS Community Advisory Committee. She is also the Chairperson of the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network — the national peak body representing multicultural youth issues in Australia.

Accompanying Carmel at this unique Melbourne Forum event will be a young multicultural intern who will also answer questions from the audience. Please join us.


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