We are here, now what? Practice Reflection on Working with Refugee Women and their Settlement Journey

By Mitra Khakbaz and Donna Baines Faye.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper outlines a best practice model working with women from diverse cultural and language groups during their settlement journey. It focuses on initiatives undertaken to engage refugee women who have arrived in Australia under the Women At Risk program. The Women At Risk program recognizes the priority given by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to protection of refugee women in particularly vulnerable situations. The project this paper is based on has focused on developing strategies and initiatives to enable participants to share their skills and experiences in a safe environment and to build new skills and networks. While the outcomes for individual participants vary, all members have developed confidence and strengths in partaking in their settlement journey. This paper is a narrative reflection voicing the women’s journey through the process of identity formation, settlement and acceptance.

Keywords: Women, Women at Risk, Refugee

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp.13-20. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 586.346KB).

Mitra Khakbaz

Executive Manager, Community Engagement, Multicultural Development Association, Brisbane, Qld, Australia

Mitra Khakbaz is the executive manager community engagement at Multicultural development association. Mitra has completed her Master in Applied Linguistics, her post graduate diploma in community development and social policy and her Master in Social Administration with school of Social work at UQ. Prior to her current role Mitra has been the coordinator for Centre for Multicultural and Community Development with University of Sunshine Coast. Mitra has worked in various positions both in community and education sector and has managed various projects across Queensland with diverse communities focusing on regional settlement, parenting across cultures, families and cultural interface, youth engagement, women empowerment, delivering cultural competency and anti-racism training.

Donna Baines Faye

Senior community Development Worker, Continuing Settlement Services, Multicultural Development Association, Brisbane, Qld, Australia

Donna Baines Faye has been working at Multicultural Development Assoc. Inc in both Community Development and Advocacy roles for five years. She graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts (hons) in 1994 and began a varied career in roles including welfare, advocacy, publicity and journalism. This work took her across three continents including two years working as Assistant Editor and Mentor for a local newspaper in The Gambia, West Africa and three years working for non-government organisations in London, UK.


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