Getting the message heard –
MurrayCare working with the
People of non English speaking background and
illiteracy – what has worked, what the challenges have
been and who can help you get your message out to the
Goals of current project
To educate international students and refugees about
the water crisis in South Australia and how to reduce
their personal water consumption.
Develop skills for participants to teach others in their
community to reduce water use.
Develop a DIY education kit for educators to use in
their own English classes/community group.
Why educate refugee’s and new
Initially overseas students were reported by home
hosts to be using the showers for long periods of time
(up to an hour).
Many immigrants have been charged excess water use
bills after huge amounts of water used in the house
(one report of kitchen tap left on constantly).
Background research carried out in 2006 identified
that water conservation messages were not reaching or
positively impacting upon this sector of the
What has worked?
Preference is for activities that engage students rather than
formal presentations. Examples include taking students to the
River Murray Catchment to involve them in seed collecting,
water analysis, bat box construction and fencing off areas to
protect turtle breeding areas (eggs) from foxes.
“During the Stage 1 pilot, students have significantly excelled in
their English language skills because the project was interesting,
they could apply knowledge from their homelands to SA, and
they were engaged by the hands-on activities (ie,water quality
testing). The chosen method of workshops, catchment tours, and
resource development, proved successful with new immigrants
and Refugees achieving very positive results. “
Hera Sandison, ESL Tutor
Implementation ideas from
partner planning planning
Carry out Action Based Research, which evolves with the project rather than
starts with a fixed idea and keeps to it – the researchers should be flexible to
change approach as new information or strategies are uncovered
The educational resource could be a mobile trailer, loaded with information,
pictures, glimpse kits and touch-table items
Highlight the possibility of fines, regulations and rules for water overuse
Use examples from person’s country of origin as a comparison, which allows
cross-cultural learning (i.e. Australian’s to learn from migrants)
Use international symbols (rather than words) to convey conservation ideas
Prime Ministers citizen test could have question/s about water
Peer education has shown to be effective in achieving specific outcomes in other
projects (this idea uses peers of the target group to deliver a message)
Educate children of migrant families in an effort to reach older generations
DVD (Men’s African Cooking example)
Refugees are obviously traumatized by their
experiences in their home countries, as well as
disoriented by all the changes in their new lives, not
the least of which will be a new language.
The broad range of linguistic and cultural
backgrounds (refer next slide)
Language spoken at home in South Australia
Male Female Total
Speaks English only 620,013 642,768 1,262,781
Language spoken at home 35,913 31,130 67,043
Italian 17,395 18,422 35,817
Greek 12,893 13,005 25,898
Vietnamese 6,752 7,012 13,764
Mandarin 4,152 4,802 8,954
German 3,492 4,465 7,957
Cantonese 3,801 4,121 7,922
Polish 3,170 3,746 6,916
Arabic 2,897 2,525 5,422
Serbian 2,120 2,151 4,271
Croatian 1,852 1,900 3,752
Spanish 1,623 1,817 3,440
1,534 1,694 3,228
Khmer 1,558 1,615 3,173
Dutch 1,357 1,790 3,147
Russian 1,175 1,499 2,674
Who can help get your message
MurrayCare refugee education resources will be available in mid 2008.
Organisations that have provided assistance:
National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters
Conservation Volunteers Aust.
Aust. Refugee Association
TAFE English Language Services
African Communities Council of South Australia
Multicultural Youth South Australia
Immigration centres and service clubs (esp. Murray Bridge)
ESL teachers and tutors
Migrant Resource Centres (esp. to target new arrivals)
Community radio and TV stations
Migrant and refugee community newsletters and newspapers
AMLR and SA MDB NRM Boards, Universities, Local
Councils, New Immigrant groups and individuals,
Multicultural Youth SA, South Australian Water
Corporation, TAFE SA, Refugee Association, Church
groups, Urban Ecology and Global Education Centre.
Multicultural Youth SA Training seminar flyer
Case study – Korean University students
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