“I’ve noticed that when our students are able to articulate what they’ve been through, they begin to have a sense of the barriers they have overcome, and this is an important step in helping them to access the right support.” Yen Siow, Humanitarian Ambassador
With a background in global education, working with NGOs and charities to support educational outreach programs, it was inevitable that the role of Humanitarian Ambassador would appeal to Yen Siow.
“When I first saw the position advertised and read the description, I was pleasantly surprised that an Independent School was moving in the direction of providing opportunities for students of refugee backgrounds,” says Yen, who has been the Humanitarian Ambassador since late 2021, providing support to our Caulfield Grammar School Foundation Humanitarian Scholarship students and their families.
“Having worked in the education sector for some time and being a former refugee myself, I was excited to see a school be progressive in its values for diversity and equity.”
Yen’s role at Caulfield Grammar includes meeting regularly with the students and their carers, getting to know them, their stories and their way of life.
Our Humanitarian scholarship students come from all parts of the world, including African nations, Syria, Afghanistan and South Asia.
“Embracing these students and bringing them into the School community is very important,” says Yen. “As is understanding and sharing with the broader student community, the amount of courage, strength and challenges these students have faced as refugees.”
In her role, Yen works across departments to liaise with various teams, so that teaching and professional staff are aware of the needs of the students. While Yen helps the students and their families navigate and learn about all aspects of Australian culture, she also sources supports and resources for cultural training for staff professional development.
Yen’s long-term aspiration for the program is to build on a culture at the School that encourages asking brave questions, while being tolerant and interested in other people’s life experiences and culture.
“I’m excited about the future growth of the program and providing more students with the incredible opportunities Caulfield Grammar School has to offer.”