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    Changing Perception of Refugees: AMTC now STEMSEL

    STEMSEL stands for Science Technology Engineering Maths Social Enterprise Learning.

    In 2009 Dr Joseph Masika had a dream for the African Microchip Training Centre (AMTC), now renamed the STEMSEL Foundation:

    “Refugees can give, not just take!”

    After a few years some of the refugee youth mentor by Dr Masika have worked tirelessly with the STEMSEL University interns to bring in International student money to SA last month!

    In 2014 the STEMSEL Foundation University interns and refugees brought in $4 million worth of International student money to Adelaide!

    Dr Masika’ work can also be seen in Victor Harbour! A STEMSEL University intern Matt Gear from Flinders University has started a STEMSEL Club at the Encounter Lutheran College with the help of a student’s mother Dr Lara and the College Principal.

    STEMSEL CLUB
    Sign up today! Download brochure here.
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    Refugee and Asylum Seekers

    Policy Statement: Asylum seekers deserve access to the full protection of Australian laws that onshore processing gives them; they deserve their rights under the Refugee Convention, to which Australia has been a signatory since 1954.

    Policy Platform

    • Commonwealth Government should expand and strengthen Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program and to build international cooperation aimed at enhancing refugee protection.
    • Australia should not deflect protection responsibilities to other countries, to weaken the protection provided by Australia to refugees and to limit the scrutiny of Australia’s refugee status determination processes and oppose the mandatory indefinite detention of asylum seekers
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    Ageing & Older Australians

    Policy Statement: Older people are equal and full participants in Australian society, and it is their right to expect they can continue to contribute and enjoy their responsibilities as citizens for their entire lifetime. Discrimination and discriminatory practices against older people should be removed by stronger legislative authority and a public re-education strategy.

    Policy Platform

    • Strengthening of the Age Discrimination Act to better protect the rights of older Australians.
    • Develop an effective public education strategy – for employers, service providers and broader mainstream society – to better sell the worth of older Australians’ experience, potential and benefit.
    • Harmonise State and Territory laws relating to advance care directives and end of life decision making.
    • Establish an accessible system of complaints processing, with independent and strong advocacy and resolution powers.
    • Review and revise existing schemes for older people to access their equity in their homes.
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    Families

    Policy Platform: All South Australians have the right to live in safe homes and communities. People from culturally diverse backgrounds are particularly disadvantaged because of cultural beliefs and influences, poor understanding of the law and their rights, and isolation due to language barriers.

    Policy Platform:

    • Increase the number of social workers and support staff from new communities through special programs in schools and in the community, and through training.
    • Information in relevant languages and provided in culturally appropriate communication channels to migrant groups
    • Multicultural communities have a right to all dialogue and debates that impact legislation, including the debate on same sex marriage. The subject can be taboo in CALD communities due to cultural values and beliefs. CALD communities must be included in these debates through culturally appropriate communication and participation processes.
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    Health

    Policy Statement: It is a fundamental human right for all people to be provided with access to health care services, appropriate information and support regarding their health and well-being. Barriers which can often prevent disadvantaged and vulnerable persons from accessing such information or receiving appropriate medical support, should be removed.

    Policy Platform:

    • Establish trans-cultural specialists in mental health; palliative care; and geriatric services, especially in the treatment of dementia.
    • Restore private medical insurance rebates and other incentives to reduce dependence on public health systems.
    • Increase investment into culturally appropriate medical training so that medical personnel are well equipped to provide services to our multicultural communities.
    • Aggressively market our capacity and skills to attract overseas students and practitioners.
    • Access to health services for refugees and migrants who settle in rural and remote regions by restoring regional hospital facilities, including incentives to private investors and operators.
    • Incentives for medical personnel from Australia and overseas to practice in rural and remote areas, and in areas with high migrant populations.
    • Scholarships to medical students which are tied to specific practice periods in rural and remote areas
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    Industry & Trade

    South Australia’s economic, trade and investment benefits of multiculturalism must be recognised and well promoted.

    Policy Statement: SA must diversify its industrial and trade base to increase exports and employment. In doing this, the skills and knowledge base of migrants and refugees, many of who come from highly industrialised and agricultural economies, is invaluable but currently a wasted resource.

    Policy Platform:

    • A more aggressive overseas marketing campaign, utilising the language and cultural knowledge of migrants, will increase exports of prime South Australian wine, grain and other agricultural products.
    • Utilise the skills and cultural knowledge of migrants to promote Australia and its economy overseas through chambers of commerce and other like entities
    • Support the mining sector to find and secure long term supply contracts and joint ventures with foreign investors.
    • Support foreign investment in South Australian primary industry while protecting our resources through licensing or leasing arrangements rather than land sales.
    • Incentives for foreign start-ups especially in technological, pharmaceutical and medical industries. Incentive basis would be scaled according to extent of local labour employed.
    • Incentives for skilled migration, especially for entrepreneurs and small business operators.
    • Promote and support local automotive parts and spare parts industries to develop links to foreign based automotive manufacturers. This will help to protect against flow-on affects of loss of local vehicle manufactures, and reduce the ability of those manufactures to force government subsidies.
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    Disability Care

    Policy Statement: People from diverse cultural backgrounds who also have a disability face multiple disadvantages throughout their life cycle.

    Policy Platform:

    • Provide funding to address the existing funding shortfall in this program. These funds would be sourced from a review of federal and state government spending, in the duplication of services and functions.
    • People with disability, their families and advocates, must be provided with choice for services which meet their cultural needs.
    • Specific program for CALD people with a disability, from regional and rural regions.
    • Review of sheltered workshop programs to ensure culturally appropriate policies and personnel to accommodate CALD people with a disability.
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    Environment

    Our multicultural communities are not normally targeted as primary audiences for sustainability actions.

    Policy Statement: We must recognise the ability of all communities to participate in dialogue and action on the environment, climate change and the positive effects of energy efficiency.

    Policy Platform:

    • Establish a Multicultural Environment Protection project that utilises and builds on the knowledge and expertise in this area. Such a project will enable diverse communities, who often miss mainstream environmental discussions, to be included in dialogues through cultural and linguistic references.
    • Environmental messages will reach all SA communities through the use of communication facilities that address language barriers.
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    Youth Training and Employment

    Policy Statement: Young South Australians have the right to employment opportunities when entering the labour force.

    Policy Platform:

    • Align school curricula to identified employment opportunities – including accommodating regional industries.
    • Support and advance apprenticeship schemes, and incentives for work experience providers.
    • Allocate entry level positions in government for young people
    • Encourage career planning by providing on-demand specialised, vocational subjects within the school system.
    • Provide access to affordable transport, accommodation, and communication tools.
    • I treat issues like poverty, corruption and injustice with great importance.
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    Employment

    Policy Statement: All South Australians should have access to employment opportunities in an open, inclusive and accessible labour market. Policy Platform: Existing barriers to employment should be identified, addressed and removed:

    • Skills training – align Skills for All program to identified industry labour shortages.
    • Discrimination – specialised employment agencies addressing cultural barriers
    • Access – skills data bank for job matching
    • Legislated Equity and Access principles for employment of older Australians
    • English proficiency – increase length and diversity of AMEP program
    • Overseas qualifications – seek a nationally binding accreditation system