The Deakin Centre for Refugee Education, Advocacy, Training and Education (CREATE) has been recognised at the prestigious PIEoneer Awards for international education.
At a recent online ceremony, Deakin CREATE won the Championing Diversity Award for its innovation and success in supporting refugees into education and employment.
In their fifth year, the PIEoneer Awards are a high-profile celebration of the best initiatives in international education, across 21 categories. In 2021 over 430 submissions were judged by a panel of 43 experts, with winners spanning seven countries.
Deakin CREATE director, Professor Alex Newman said 'This award provides global recognition of Deakin CREATE's work in fostering pathways for people from refugee backgrounds to access higher education.’
CREATE achieves its outcomes through the provision of extensive online resources for students, job seekers, educational institutions and employers as well as running online career clinics.
Professor Newman says, 'the award recognises the unique contribution made by Deakin CREATE in that it is the only research centre of its kind that focuses on the topics of refugee education and employment.'
This recognition is the latest in a string of honours for CREATE, which include the Emerald Interdisciplinary Research Social Impact Award and an AACSB Innovations that Inspire Award in 2021 as well as an Australian Financial Review Higher Education Award in 2020.
The challenges faced by refugees on temporary protection visas in seeking employment and education are enormous. Eligible in Australia only for full-fee university places, and facing reluctance from some employees to hire them, only 17% of refugees in Australia have paid employment after 18 months in the country.
But CREATE’s work shows the difference dedicated support can make. Over 60% of its 2020 career clinic participants found paid employment and it has helped over 70 candidates into vocational and tertiary education. Over 5300 users have accessed the website for resources and information.
Thanks to philanthropic funding CREATE is providing career clinics to 450 candidates over a three-year period and has secured additional funding to provide graduate employment clinics to another 50 candidates.