AMES Australia works to build the capacity of newly arrived migrants to link to the broader community and become independent as soon as possible. Capacity building activities are developed in consultation with the refugee and migrant communities and are an important focus of AMES Australia's English courses, vocational training and employment programs.
AMES Australia runs annual multicultural retreats for women and men. These have been running for over ten years. Both retreats provide safe, pressure free spaces for newly arrived men and women to undertake skills based programs. Clients develop an understanding of the settlement process and build skills needed to live in Australia. Both retreats have enjoyed support from partners and sponsors including South East Water, Netball Victoria, Victoria Police, inTouch Inc., the Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence and Aesop.
AMES Australia delivers courses to assist migrants and refugees prepare for the citizenship test. This test is designed to assess whether candidates for citizenship have an adequate knowledge of Australia and the responsibilities and priviledges of Australian citizenship. Courses are delivered across AMES Australia centres.
AMES Australia employs a number of staff who come from newly arrived communities. These staff speak our client languages and in many cases, share the refugee experience. They generally begin work as Community Guides and for many this is their first job in Australia.
AMES Australia has a number of structured opportunities for Community Guides to move into more secure work such as Case Coordinator Support Workers, Housing Workers and Settlement Information Officers. Read more about our Community Guides program
The Multicultural Hub provides affordable space for community groups to meet. The Hub experienced a significant growth in usage in 2011, with more than 300 events held, attracting 75,000 people from a diverse range of backgrounds. Read more about the Multicultural Hub
Regular consultations have been established to gain feedback from communities on policy issues and services. This ensures that our programs respond to emerging needs and our policy advice to government is informed by input from communities. Our structured consultation program is supported by a range of informal discussions that occur between staff and community members as part of our daily work.
The AMES Australia Community Volunteer Training Program provides training for volunteers and support to coordinators, to help community organisations manage volunteer tutor programs that help migrants with their English. The Program is provided at no cost, through funding from the DIBP. It targets those migrants who are not eligible for the AMEP. Read more about the program.