Girl SKILS is a collaboration of Mount Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency (MECA), Chifley College Mount Druitt and Creative Training and Coaching. The program works with young women from a refugee background between the ages of 14-16, living in Mount Druitt. In particular the program supports young people who may have demonstrated difficulty with settlement, experienced social tension or expressed feelings of exclusion and isolation. The young women are provided with education and mentoring that focuses on the development of social and emotional literacy by enhancing key social and emotional skills. By providing a safe environment and using a research backed behavioural approach the program grows a community in Mount Druitt of young women who see the potential in their inherent strengths and capabilities and use these for positive outcomes.
One of the participants explains her journey through the 10-week program.
“When my English teacher at school told me about the Girl SKILS program I didn’t really know what to expect but she said that it was my choice if I wanted to attend and told me it would work on stuff like family relationships and goal setting. A few girls in the class above had done the program and said they really liked it so I thought I would give it a go. I was a bit nervous the first session but there were eleven other girls doing the program so I tried to have an open mind.
The teacher Claudia was so amazing, she told us all about what we were going to do stuff like finding out our values and working on how to talk to our parents and teachers, I was surprised it was so fun. Over the weeks we did heaps of activities, learnt about ourselves and each other and I felt like I opened up a lot and grew in confidence. It’s really hard coming to school from another country, I felt like a had some breathing space to understand myself and this helped me to plan for the future. I also learnt how to stand up for myself without getting angry and responding badly to others. I feel really happy that I have learnt all these new skills and that I now have an idea about what are my really great strengths and what I can do with them for my future career. It’s nice to feel included”
Young migrants and refugees in Mount Druitt have regularly expressed a desire to link up with professional organisations and artists in order to develop their filmmaking skills with a view to creating works that focus on pertinent social issues relevant to the local community. This need has led to an amazing partnership between MECA and The Joan. The Joan, The Q and studio Q: The Q is a contemporary theatre production program based at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith (aka The Joan). The Q has evolved from the creative lineage of The Q Theatre Company and its more than fifty years of commitment to the presentation and production of new theatre works.
studioQ is part of the drama training arm of The Q, offering acting courses for young people and people living with a disability. We believe that the best way to learn skills in theatre is to do what real actors and directors do everyday – participants will be considered a ‘young artist’ preparing for rehearsals and performances, led by a tutor who is actively involved in the theatre industry.
The collaboration between MECA and the Joan has led to the development of theatre workshops as part of studioQ 2017’s Term 1 and Term 2 schedule. These workshops have provided a group of young people form a refugee background with access to theatre Workshops that up-skill the young artists in basic professional script-writing and acting abilities, tailored to and developed using the artist’s own practice and style, taught by professional theatre-making teacher artists. The partnership has had some great success and the young participants have even held their own performances for live audiences.
MECA aims to provide a dynamic environment
for working collaboratively with refugee communities to identify strengths, create
innovative solutions and support
implementation through action.
Get in touch
Level 1, 12 & 13 Mount St.,
Mount Druitt, NSW 2770
ABN 85 023 648 955
Phone: 02 9625 9300
Financial Report 2017
Click on the icon to download a copy of MECA’s financial report. For further information, contact our office on 9625 9300.