The Beaut Buddies program is designed to improve the transition of young people from refugee backgrounds from the language acquisition programs provided on arrival in Australia, into mainstream education and training programs.
Funded by VicHealth under its 'Building Bridges Scheme: Together We Do Better', the Beaut Buddies Program focuses on three key social and economic factors that influence mental health and wellbeing (as defined by VicHealth):
- social inclusion
- freedom from discrimination and violence
- access to economic resources
Programs funded by Building Bridges aim to improve mental health and wellbeing by promoting positive contact and cooperative activities between people from migrant and refugee backgrounds with members of the wider community.
Over a three year period, Foundation House will work with three on-arrival English Language Schools at Noble Park, Blackburn and Broadmeadows as well as six mainstream secondary schools to:
- futher develop transition processes for students
- improve inter-cultural contact between students, their families and the schools
- establish a “buddy” system where mainstream students volunteer to buddy incoming English Language School students
- produce a resource guide and professional development program to enable Beaut Buddies to be replicated in other locations
Following a range of shared projects and events, students participating in the buddy program will be encouraged to establish a sustainable student body to take responsibility for the Beaut Buddies program and to encourage positive relationships and social harmony within the school community.