- Construction of the Youth Arts Warehouse
- Youth Workers in Secondary Schools and TAFE
- The Yiriman Project
Making Change through WYPIN
The Western Young People’s Independent Network for newly arrived and migrant young people in Melbourne’s western suburbs
WYPIN was established in 1989 by a group of refugee and migrant young people united by a commitment to challenging racism in the community.
Working on principles of youth empowerment and youth advocacy, its programs and activities are designed and implemented by young people. It is co-located with Melbourne City Mission in Footscray, an inner-western suburb of Melbourne and a major site for the settlement of refugees and migrants over the past 60 years. WYPIN is supported by the employment of a Youth Support Worker.
While the hopes and needs of WYPIN members are diverse, they face some common issues:
“Poverty is pretty much across the board. One significant barrier they face is understanding systems and the way things work in Australia: education, employment, transport systems, debt accumulated here through fines, police … for example, if you’re a victim of crime, what happens? There are also community conflicts here eg about whether the police is the avenue you go down or do you follow community protocol, such as meeting with elders?” – Dayane, Youth Support Worker.
WYPIN provides a focus for young people to discuss, research, speak and act on issues of concern. For many young people involved, simply feeling more confident about their English is important. The organisation also offers training (public speaking, facilitation, the government system in Australia, and media), runs school-based workshops and coordinates group outings to make stronger social connections.
What worked in WYPIN?
- A friendly, welcoming and flexible approach
- Structured opportunities for participation
- Transparency and respect
- Advocacy to ensure that young people are paid for their expertise
- Ensuring that young people feel like they’re making a change