Kick to Connect
The Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) services are tailored to meet the settlement and integration needs of new migrants and refugees, ensuring families have the resources to grow and thrive in their new country
Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre
Kick to Connect:
Jan 2013 - Dec 2014
The Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre operates across Melbourne's north-west region, offering a hub-style service to support migrants and refugees to help them successfully settle and participate in all aspects of community life.
The LUCRF Super Community Program supported Spectrum’s ‘Kick to Connect’ project which, through the provision of mentoring and engagement in an AFL club, aimed to achieve the following key objectives for newly arrived youth:
- Improve social connectivity and networks
- Promote and increase a sense of belonging through regular involvement in group-based activities within a mainstream sporting environment
- Enhance life skills and improve self-confidence by engaging with the broader Australian community and systems, and
- Foster greater inclusiveness within the club and mutual cross-cultural awareness and understanding between newly arrived youth and established community members. Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre
Spectrum MRC implemented activities in partnership with the Sunshine Heights Football Club. Participants were individually matched with a mentor at the club, who assisted with their integration into activities and events, and supported them in gaining the confidence and skills to become active participants in training and/or matches.
The participants that attended regularly learned how to interact with a football club in both an on-field and off-field capacity.
As the main support network for young migrants and refugees consists of family and friends who are also newly arrived, it is important to link these people with a more established community. The ‘Kick to Connect’ program lifted the confidence of participants for future interactions with mainstream Australians. They were also made to feel a part of the club and were given training gear and a hooded jumper, which participants still wear regularly.
A success story
Four youths and four mentors participated in an AFL Multicultural round match-day experience. Participants played in front of the Etihad Stadium crowd at half-time during the Round 18 Western Bulldogs vs Essendon match. It was an incredible experience for everyone involved.
In addition to their success on the football field, two of the regular activity attendees also gained employment in the construction and hospitality industries. While this cannot be directly attributed to the Kick to Connect project, the increased confidence gained through the project certainly helped.
The Community Program also supported Spectrum’s successful Homework Program in 2012.