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A refugee language program student sits at a desk during class.
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Refugee Language Program

Giving recent arrivals the skills they need to make Australia home
Refugees often arrive with nothing – no friends, family or the language skills they need to find work and accommodation. Our program helps refugees learn English and build social networks in the Australian community.

Donate a laptop

Because of the COVID 19 pandemic and vulnerable circumstances of many clients, the Refugee Language Program (RLP) has replaced traditional face-to-face classes with distance learning that links each student with an individual tutor. 

However, this is only possible through the generosity of people and businesses willing to donate laptops they are no longer using. If you have recently upgraded your Macintosh or Windows laptop, or iPad or Android tablet, and are able to donate it to the RLP, please email Program Coordinator Lesley Carnus and she will arrange to collect it.

Many of our refugee students come from violent, war-torn countries where they accumulate physical, emotional and psychological scars that come with them as they start their new lives in Australia.

Our program provides opportunities that aren’t available to them anywhere else. As well as free English language classes, we aim to break down social barriers for refugees by introducing them to Australian ideas and customs, and providing reading materials, social activities and volunteer mentors. Wherever possible, we guide these students in finding work.

About the program

At its outset, and up until March 2020, the Refugee Language Program offered four classes each week at the University of Sydney's Camperdown campus, including individual tutoring sessions on Monday and Wednesday, and several classes on Saturdays. The classes included:

  • Intermediate communication skills
  • Advanced communication skills
  • Conversation, technology and CVs
  • Individual tutoring groups.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all the program's face-to-face activities were suspended in favour of weekly one-to-one tutoring with volunteers (see below).

Additional information

We are proud to annouce our Distance Learning Program, which will replace traditional face-to-face classes.

The program links each student with a tutor who uses whatever technology is available to the student to learn. That could be via email or phone, or Zoom and for students without computers, they will have learning material posted to them.

If you have any questions please email Program Coordinator, Lesley Carnus lesley.carnus@sydney.edu.au

If you’d like to enrol, please complete this form and return via email to our program coordinator.

The program relies on the passion and generosity of our volunteers. Our tutors and mentors are made up of university staff, students, alumni and local community members.

Due to current social distancing restrictions, our program links each student with a tutor who uses whatever technology is available to the student to learn. That could be via email or phone, or Zoom and for students without computers, they will have learning material posted to them.

If you’d like to join our team, please complete this form and return via email to our program coordinator.

To refer a client, please complete the student application form with them and email our program coordinator. We will contact your client so we can assess their language skills and place them in a class or on our waiting list.

Support us

We depend entirely on private donations to fund our work.

By supporting the Refugee Language Program, you will be offering refugees access to these important opportunities, and giving our new friends the chance to make a home in Australia.

Contact


Lesley Carnus

Coordinator, Refugee Language Program

Location

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