In 2020, the chance to connect, share and learn has breathed life into a new partnership between TAFE Queensland, Community Hubs Australia and Access Community Services. Together, the organisations are delivering a free English language program and onsite child minding service to migrant and refugee communities.
The classes, which focus on delivering casual English support, are now available in seven popular community hubs across Logan and Ipswich. It’s a nod to the melting pot of cultures in suburbs such as Woodridge, Marsden, and Redbank Plains, where up to 50 per cent of residents speak languages other than English at home.
For many of these families, TAFE Queensland is well established as a household name. While the organisation’s mainstream services lie in vocational training, TAFE Queensland also possesses a strong, long-standing background in the delivery of migrant English programs.
"A lot of our families already know the word TAFE," said Michelle Yip, Community Hub Co-ordinator at Woodridge State School.
"Being able to tell them we’ve got a TAFE Queensland teacher here, they get very excited. It helps to bring them in."
While TAFE Queensland educators stand at the helm, this program is a far cry from the traditional pen-and-notebook classroom setting. Each two hour session leads groups through interactive games and group activities, providing written and spoken language support for all competency levels, ages, and lifestyles.
The informal setting is a boon to parents who would otherwise be unable to engage in classroom-based education. Through the free onsite childminding service, available during every class, parents can connect with peers, build confidence, and develop the language skills for day-to-day life in Australia.