Mum’s the word at TAFE Queensland as an innovative shift in its Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) is opening doors for migrant and refugee mothers.
The AMEP, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, supports new migrants and refugees in their settlement journey with up to 510 hours of free English classes.
More than half of TAFE Queensland’s AMEP cohort immigrated through the Family Visa Stream. For mothers who are breastfeeding or prefer to care for their young children at home, it can prove difficult to consistently attend classes on campus.
To overcome this barrier, TAFE Queensland has launched a range of community and online English classes for mothers in the Townsville and Logan regions.
“We identified a need for classes that cater to mothers who are currently breastfeeding or prefer to provide care at home instead of childcare,” said AMEP Case Manager Melissa Noble.
“It’s easy for them to fall behind in their studies due to family responsibilities, and these tailored classes make learning English accessible and suitable to their lifestyle.”
In Townsville, TAFE Queensland delivered classes to 26 women at the Townsville Intercultural Centre, which is equipped with baby-changing facilities and designated child-minding rooms.
In the Logan area, 31 women logged on from their homes to participate in online English classes.
The community-minded initiative has been embraced by students with open arms. The women praised the supportive environment, and breastfeeding mothers found the new delivery format more convenient while caring for their newborns.
“We structure sessions around different aspects of family daily life—such as health, housing, and shopping—and vital information and support services for mothers in Queensland,” said AMEP Team Leader Anushka Weerackody.
Already, the new classes have seen students forge new social circles, gain confidence, and continue their English language development without disruption.
The AMEP is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs. In Queensland, the AMEP is delivered through TAFE Queensland.