The Commissioner for Children and Young People Colin Pettit has released two new publications that capture the views of almost 300 WA children and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.
The Commissioner said the main report of the consultation, Children and Young People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds Speak Out, indicates that most CALD children and young people are doing well, feel positive about their future, and feel grateful for the opportunity to participate in school and live in safety, peace and freedom.
“The children and young people that participated also provide valuable insights into the challenges they face when settling in Australia, including learning English, experiencing racism, making new friends, being separated from and worrying about relatives, and managing the pull between different cultures," the Commissioner said.
“Western Australia has a rich and culturally diverse history that has contributed strongly to the values and way of life that we all enjoy, and responding to the views expressed in the consultation is important to build a strong and cohesive State into the future.”
“The practical and insightful views of the children and young people who participated in this consultation can be used to improve the services and programs available to refugee and migrant families, particularly when they first arrive.”
“Ensuring children and young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds receive the support they need to settle and build a positive future is vital for us all."
A second consultation report released today, This Is Me, outlines the inspiring personal stories of 15 WA young people from diverse backgrounds.
A group of 12 WA young people aged between 18 and 25 years worked with the Commissioner and the Youth Affairs Council of WA to help design, deliver and report on the consultations contained in the reports.
Commissioner Pettit said the involvement of the peer leaders has been central to the success and richness of the consultation.
“In addition to their input on the design of the consultation, the peer leaders’ ability to relate and empathise with CALD children and young people ensured they felt comfortable to share their views,” Mr Pettit said.
Mr Pettit said he will use the report of the consultation to advocate for action by the agencies that support CALD children and young people’s wellbeing.