Refugee Association of Logan

“My community internship revolutionised my outlook and career path”

Within his undergraduate degree there were no opportunities for Jaxon to gain practical experiences in his desired field. However, with the help of the Griffith University Community Internship program, a multidisciplinary and credited civic engagement subject, he now has worked hand-in-hand with vulnerable Logan residents from a refugee and asylum seeker background.

Jaxon completed his 50 voluntary hours with the Refugee Association of Logan (RAL).

Founded in 2013, the not-for-profit organisation assists desperate refugee and asylum seekers (typically from Africa, Afghanistan and Iran) with material goods, English classes, and secretarial assistance with visa applications, resume preparation, and information regarding immigration policy free of charge.

Jaxon said his time as a visa officer at the Refugee Association of Logan was life-changing.

“I learnt and researched this area extensively throughout my degree, but when you hear the stories first hand it breaks your heart,” he said.

“It was an incredible opportunity to use my privilege to help others who are not as lucky as me. The internship taught be valuable skills that I will take into the future. It also gave me a new perspective on life. The issue of migration is not about politics. It does not matter where you sit, it affects all of us. I would definitely recommend other International Relations and Law students to volunteer with the Refugee Association of Logan. It is so rewarding, and you learn so much.”

Refugee Association of Logan manager Chris Miranda said the Griffith University Community Internship program was mutually beneficial.

“It is a great opportunity for students to commence their practice of migration law and understand the wrap around support that assists refugees,” Mr Miranda said.

“This is a stepping stone position to network and work within the sector. In addition, with assistance from the Griffith University Service Learning we are able to assist a larger number of needy clients. We do rely on volunteers to keep this place up and running. The students are competent and have great computer literacy.”

The Refugee Association of Logan provides interns with a great program where they can apply their classroom knowledge to conduct interviews with migrants, complete visa applications, provide advocacy, contribute to board meetings, and network within the sector.

Griffith University Service Learning provides local and international not-for-profit organisations, schools, and government services with over 40 000 hours of support each year.

Griffith University Service-Learning partnership officer Christine Williamson said it was great the volunteering program, which is a higher education PIEoneer state award winner and finalist, can help under resourced community organisations to thrive.

If you would like to more information on how you can support vulnerable migrants in Logan head to Refugee Association of Logan

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