SydWest Multicultural Services has a longstanding partnership with Western Sydney University (WSU), and has been collaborating with the university on many youth development programs.
SydWest, based in Blacktown, has engaged nine youth clients in two online workshops with WSU – an innovation brought on by COVID-19 restrictions to replace the usual Uni Taster tours.
During the workshops, dubbed “Community Conversations”, speakers from WSU provided information on a range of topics including pathways to university and scholarship applications.
Sydwest’s young people also gained experience using online platforms, increased their understanding of universities and gained knowledge about how to access courses for diplomas and degrees.
They learned about university applications and the importance of community networks. The sessions also helped them feel confident in applying for different university courses.
SydWest is pleased to be maintaining its positive relationship with WSU through the online sessions. SydWest also works closely with other institutions in the region, such as Macquarie University, Australian Catholic University, University of New England and TAFE NSW, to expose its young people to the varied and diverse opportunities for further education and career development.
At the same time, SydWest continues to support broader CALD communities and networks throughout Penrith and Blacktown. Generalist case workers regularly contact clients – including SETS clients – via telephone, WhatsApp and Facebook. Bilingual workers have been ensuring clients receive the latest COVID updates in Arabic, Tamil, Nepali, Farsi, and Dari. During the lockdown period, SydWest reached out to more than 300 refugee clients that way.
SydWest also produced a series of short videos to amplify critical health messages, which were disseminated via Facebook, YouTube and SETS social groups. The videos messages were produced in partnership with the NSW Council of Social Services (NCOSS). See the full playlists on SydWest’s YouTube channel here and here.