Free Community Development Presentations


Previous events 2018

Navigating across Cultures: Bicultural and rural community development in the refugee sector

Held on 31 May 2018


Bicultural workers in the refugee sector are both adept in the values, behaviours and processes of their heritage culture and the host culture. These workers play a critical role in supporting refugee communities through resettlement and cultural transition in Australia and the recovery process from trauma and torture.  Quite often such workers face the challenge of navigating the ‘in-between’ space of being a community member themselves while providing social and human services to the community. This seminar will present two community development workers who find themselves in the middle of the communities they work with; one as a member of a refugee community and the other working in a smaller regional setting. The seminar will focus on some of the key principles and skills in working effectively in the bicultural and smaller community context.

Presenter – Jo McGregor

Jo McGregor is a registered Neurological Occupational Therapist with a Masters of Social Change and Development.  She is STARTTS’ Community Development Officer for the Newcastle and Hunter Region and is engaged in the Families in Cultural Transition Program, Coordinating Youth programs, facilitating community consultations, delivering school programs, engaging Community Capacity Building projects, and working with community members to empower and strengthen communities.  Jo is a member of the national Occupational Therapy group OOFRA’s and also a casual academic at the University of Newcastle. Jo’s most recent work in the Hunter has been with the Syrian, Iraqi, Congolese, Afghan, Ethiopian, Sudanese, Burundi, and Sierra Leone communities.

Presenter – David Ajak Ajang

David Ajak Ajang has been working in the community with refugee and migrant communities since 2003. He is currently the Communities in Cultural Transition (CiCT) project officer in the Community Service Team at STARTTS. He coordinates the CiCT to assist non-funded associations to develop governance and leadership capacity. This entails working closely with community leaders and representatives of those associations in relation to enabling their community development work. CiCT does this through its consultants that cover many skills areas needed by the refugee communities since no one community development worker has all these skills.

Click below to watch the recordings.

Previous event 2017

Working with Young People from Refugee Backgrounds in the School Setting

Held on 14 November 2017


Jane Wallace
Coordinator, Refugee Student Support, NSW Department of Education
Read bio


Shaun Nemorin
School Liaison Team Leader
Read bio

The school context has the potential to contribute to the resettlement and recovery from trauma of young people and their families from refugee backgrounds. The presentations discussed some of the programs established by STARTTS and the NSW Department of Education to welcome and support the aforementioned young people and their families. This included highlighting the benefits of a systemic approach in the school context including groups programs, counselling and professional development for teachers on the needs and experiences of young people and their families from refugee backgrounds. Challenges and strategies of such an approach were discussed while examples of various programs will be used to highlight the bio-psychosocial benefits of working systemically with young people and their families in the school setting.

Click below to watch the recordings.

About the program

STARTTS’ Community Development Presentations are held twice per year. They aim to provide an opportunity for community sector workers and refugee community organisations to extend their understanding of the complexities of providing services to refugee communities affected by systematic state terrorism and other types of traumatic experiences. Expert speakers are invited to present on interesting and practical topics, which is followed by a case study presentation by an experienced STARTTS staff member and a panel discussion. These events are open to anyone who is interested and are particularly suitable to those working in community services. The community development presentation program began in 2011. Read more about our previous events.

STARTTS – Level 1, 44-50 Auburn Road, Auburn


Some free parking is available in the surrounding streets. The office is a short walk from Auburn train station.