Youth Refugee Network

What is the YRN and How Was it Created?


The Youth Refugee Network was created in Picture from the Youth Refugee Seminar in 20122012 and since then has been functioning primarily as a e-mail listserv whereby information regarding youth refugee issues is circulated regularly. Subscribers to the YRN are encouraged to share and disseminate information to the group in order to foster a virtual network which is aware, active and connected regarding youth refugee issues. Past topics of interest that have been shared within the network include refugee/migrant initiatives, projects, theatre productions, research projects, exhibitions as well as seminars and lectures. One of the goals of the Network is to help individuals stay in touch, up to date and raise awareness about relevant research and youth refugee initiatives. The YRN also hopes that the network fosters discussion and knowledge exchange between interested individuals and the wider community.

The YRN developed naturally from a discussion forum and workshop that was held on May 24th, 2012. This event was hosted by the Global and Cultural Mental Health (GCMH) and the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. Entitled Inspiring Communities: Research and Action with Refugee Youth, the workshop explored how and in which ways the refugee community and service providers can collaborate with academic research to facilitate positive outcomes for the refugee youth of Australia.

A picture of the audience during the Youth Refugee Semina in 2012

  The event was conceived and developed by Associate Professor Harry Minas, Director of GCMH, University of Melbourne and Dr. Arnold Zable, acclaimed writer and Vice-Chancellor's Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and with support from Dr. Sara Wills, from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. A unique blend of individuals attended the forum such as researchers, practitioners, activist and young people from refugee backgrounds.

 A summary of the discussion forum and workshop can be found by clicking below:

 Inspiring Communities: Research and Action with Refugee Youth

 Where Are We Now?

On April 15th, 2013 a Working Group Meeting was held with the intention to invite members from the wider network and from the community. A number of points of interest were discussed including the future of the YRN. Three main important points emerged from the meeting:
  1.  The YRN must engage more with the community it serves
  2. A more concerted effort must be organised by YRN members to secure funding for the YRN
  3. A working group for the YRN needs to be comprised ideally of more community members.

Current Activities

Since the Working Group Meeting, an application has been accepted for the YRN to partake in the 2013 Melbourne Knowledge Week. Acclaimed author, human rights activist and Vice Chancellor's Fellow, Dr. Arnold Zable will host a FREE Writing Workshop for youths from refugee backgrounds on October 28th 2013 from 6:30pm-8:30pm.

We are hoping to attract a small group of youths to what is sure to be an exciting, informative and engaging workshop! Spaces are limited and booking is essential. For bookings or questions please contact Christina Ting at

Please click on the poster below to view a larger version.

mkw poster


 How Can I Get Involved?


Get InvolvedAll interested individuals are invited to join the YRN e-mail listserv. Subscribers to the e-mail listserv form the network and subscribers can actively engage with the network using the listserv. It is the hope that this network will foster existing and new partnerships between different communities with a shared interest in promoting the wellbeing of refugee youth in Melbourne and Australia more broadly.

There are a number of different ways one could be involved with the YRN. Currently, the YRN are looking for ways to engage with and collaborate more with the community. Ideas from the wider community are welcomed.

The YRN are also looking for individuals or organisations that might be interested in finding ways of and assisting with securing funding for the Network.

To join the YRN, for more information or to become more involved please don't hesitate to contact us.