At TAFE SA Mount Gambier Campus 20 migrants and refugees have achieved their first qualification in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) on 27 June.
The presentation ceremony saw students receive qualifications from Certificate I in English Proficiency through to Certificate III in Spoken and Written English.
Before coming to Australia in 2010, graduating student Mr Edward Rashidi from the Democratic Republic of Congo was living as a refugee in Tanzania from 1997 until 2010.
Mr Rashidi said: “I remember when I came to Australia, I didn’t know the language - couldn’t read, couldn’t write, couldn’t speak much English, but now I have my Certificate II in Spoken and Written English.”
Fellow student Eh Mui Paw from Burma grew up in the Karenni refugee camp in Thailand before arriving in Australia in July 2009. After one month of being in Australia, Ms Paw started the AMEP at TAFE SA.
While she found it difficult to learn English, Ms Paw said: “Now I finish my Certificate II and III in Spoken and Written English at TAFE SA. If I have more opportunity, I’m going to learn more and improve my English.”
For Mr Rashidi and his fellow classmates, their certificate qualifications from TAFE SA are a beginning for their lives in Australia and in their local community of Mount Gambier.
“We (the graduating class) are all looking forward to participating in the Australian community whether it is through work, study volunteering or other community services,” Mr Rashidi said.
TAFE SA English Language Services provides English language classes and settlement support for newly arrived migrants and refugees throughout South Australia. The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) is funded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
Find out more about English Language Program at TAFE SA