The students, who are from refugee and migrant backgrounds and have been living in Australia for less than two years, were guided through the project by MercyCare’s Multicultural Services team in partnership with Perth Festival and an Intensive English Centre (IEC) teacher.
“This was such a beautiful project in helping the students healing experience as they reflected on their journey to Australia and the opportunities available to them in their newfound Australian home. It was also an opportunity to share their experiences with the wider community to foster better understanding of their journey to Australia,” MercyCare Step By Step Settlement Services Team Leader Florence Tessler said.
The project is part of MercyCare’s Step by Step Settlement Service which aims to help with settlement needs, learning English, accessing education and training and finding employment.
The creations were due to be showcased as part of the Perth Festival’s opening event, Escape, in February, but sadly it was cancelled due to COVID.
As part of the project, the students’ hand-crafted creations would be among thousands of illuminated boats that were to be installed on rafts and towed out to sea by squadrons of lifeboats as a moving and powerful large-scale experience for audiences to witness from the shore.
MercyCare runs weekly life skills sessions with the students at Aranmore Catholic College.