Bendigo's Kangan institute's significant commitment to cultural and linguistic diversity was recognised on Tuesday night when it received a top accolade at the 2021 Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence.
Bendigo Kangan Institute (Bendigo TAFE and Kangan Institute) was named winner for the Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence in Education - Vocational Education and Training Accredited Education and Training last night in a ceremony hosted by the Victorian Governor, The Hon Linda Dessau AC, at Government House.
Bendigo Kangan Institute chief executive Sally Curtain congratulated all the finalists for their drive to strengthen multiculturalism across Victoria.
"The awards highlight the importance of incorporating social cohesion and cross-cultural understanding in everything we do - we all can and must play a part in this as individuals and as organisations," Ms Curtain said.
Bendigo TAFE's commitment to supporting cultural diversity across the campus is evident in their suite of initatives and programs for their international students.
Among these programs is the all encompassing Wrap Around program which brings specialist services like healthcare, legal and youth programs direct to students.
In 2021 the program assisted 750 international students, the majority of which were newly arrived refugees from Iraq and Syria.
"Often this means looking beyond education and looking into how we can provide the extra help some of our students need to thrive, like access to essential services, social connections and community engagement," Ms Curtain said.
"The impact of COVID-19 on our international student community has been and continues to be immense."
Kangan Institute's Certificate IV in Spoken and Written English graduate Berat Kaya is one of many students who took part in the Wrap Around program.
He now works as a youth advisor at the Brotherhood of St Laurence.
"When I first arrived in this country, I was lost, but with the help of youth workers I found my path and now I can stand on my own feet," he said.
"With this work I can give back to the community."
The 2021 Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence was coordinated by the Victorian Multicultural Commission on behalf of the Victorian Government.
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