Scholarships for ESL students

Shamso, her aunt and cousin with me on the day she received the scholarship

Last year, two young women involved in The Huddle’s Study Support Program were awarded scholarships by NMFC group ‘Inspire’, to support them with their studies. Shamso, a newly arrived migrant from Somalia, was one of the recipients and has used the award to support her studies in Year 10 at a local secondary school in Footscray.

Shamso has a most gracious presence in The Huddle. She is open, loving and thoughtful. She has moved here to live with her aunt and plans to study nursing. For now, she is working at acquiring English language and literacy skills and learning where to focus her efforts within a new education system. She is settling well into Australian society and is very grateful to be supported to achieve her best.

In October this year, thanks to the women of Inspire, further scholarships were awarded to female members of The Huddle community –  read about it on the NMFC website and hear how they will benefit from this wonderful opportunity.

http://www.nmfc.com.au/new

s/2013-10-30/providing-the-inspiration

To read about Inspire and the great work they do, visit http://inspirenmfc.org.au/

Environment – Moonee Ponds Creek

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Moonee Ponds Creek near Arden St
Moonee Ponds Creek near Arden St

At The Huddle, one of the places we learn about through observation and images is the Moonee Ponds Creek.

The Moonee Ponds Creek is a neglected environment only a block away from The Huddle. Though many students live close to it, they do not recall the creek readily. Having been a swampy area with seasonal flooding, I understand the creek is currently categorized as a drain. Further upstream, it runs along a freeway and has been a concreted environment since the 1960’s. Near Arden St, it still tends to flood and running alongside the creek’s edge are a trainline, a bike path and an overhead freeway. Despite the urbanisation of the creek, with a focus on transport and other infrastructure, there is life in and around the creek.

The Huddle invites young people to document what they see along the creek on video. It also invites them to consider their vision for what a creek and indeed this particular creek should be like.

To date we have discovered a lot of wildlife at the creek including – black swans, ibis, turtles, ducks; indigenous reeds, peppercorn trees and grasses. We have also noticed that it is a flood plane which floods regularly, that people live under the bridges, and that there are gas lines, factories, an electrical station and a plethora of train infrastructure between here and the Docklands.

Young people visiting The Huddle have not been aware that there are major plans for development along the creek. This includes the plans relating to the Arden Macaulay Structure Plan, the East-West Road Link and a train station at Arden St. The vision young people at The Huddle have for the creek is that it should be a cleaner environment, that it should make space for plants and animals and that the impact of urbanization on the natural environment should be considered in future planning.

Their films document the environment as it is today. We wonder what will become of it in the near future …..photo 11

Moonee Ponds Creek near Arden Street
Moonee Ponds Creek near Arden Street

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One student, the daughter of a cameraman from Iraq who has migrated to Australia, brought along her own video camera and made a movie narrated in her first language. I look forward to seeing what she may create in the future.

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Kids filming under Citylink Electrical station on the creek