Sharing the stories of refugees

Professor Steven Freeland from the University of Western Sydney School of Law is a special guest on a unique television show charting the journey of a refugee family as they travel from Malaysia to start their new life in Australia.

Screening on Tuesday June 4 on Television Sydney (TVS), digital channel 44, the final episode of the Enquiring Minds series sees Professor Freeland offer expert commentary on the refugee process and the laws behind it.

The program shows how refugees are educated to acclimatise to Australian life before arriving, learning everything from how to use a vacuum cleaner and a flushing toilet to how to say "G'day".

The inspirational Enquiring Minds series aims to help primary school aged children turn their passion into a career through higher education.

The 11-part series sees a child explain what their interests are – from animals and robots to computer games – and links them with an academic in the field who explains how to turn that hobby into a career.

Professor Freeland says it is important young Australians see the refugee issue from a balanced viewpoint.

"We should be equipping people to meet the challenges of a globalised world in the 21st century, and to do that we need to educate them about broad issues, not just issues that affect everyday life in Australia," he says.

"We should not be putting too much pressure on young people too early, but I think we should be giving them every opportunity to understand the way the world works."

TVS Chief Executive Rachel Bentley says the 30-minute special episode of Enquiring Minds explains the refugee process in an easy-to-understand way.

"This series has been received very positively by schools, parents and the general community, and we are very proud our final episode deals with such an emotional issue in an impartial way," she says.

"TVS is extremely pleased the series has been so inspirational for so many people, with one school even creating a careers day based on the Enquiring Minds concept, finding out what students want to do and inviting in relevant parents to explain their jobs.

The series links to an interactive website encouraging students to pursue their interests into higher education.

Smartboard web apps and curriculum mapping means the series can also be used by teachers as a classroom resource through lesson plans and an online game.

TVS is a not for profit Community Television Channel broadcasting from the University of Western Sydney's Penrith campus, and is found on Digital Channel 44.

The Enquiring Minds and Models of Achievement TV series have been produced by TVS in partnership with the University of Western Sydney. This series is funded by the Commonwealth Government's Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP), as part of the Bridges to Higher Education initiative. Bridges to Higher Education is a partnership of five universities (University of Technology, Sydney; Macquarie University; University of Western Sydney; University of Sydney; and the Australian Catholic University) and 10 other partners including TVS. Bridges to Higher Education is a $21.2 million initiative, which aims to boost the participation of disadvantaged communities in higher education.


29 May 2013

Contact: Mark Smith, Media Officer

By submitting a comment you acknowledge you agree with the Terms and Conditions.