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NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors

Diem Nguyen on her placement experience at STARTTS

Diem Nguyen On Her Placement Experience At STARTTS

Diem Nguyen from Berlin, Germany is a student at Fachhochschule Potsdam. Her undergraduate studies focus on childhood education and she recently took the opportunity to come to STARTTS for a month-long placement during her university break.

“I’ve never been to Australia and there was this great opportunity to work here so I said, ‘Why not? Just get over here and do this!'”

Diem had a very positive experience, making the most of her exposure to the wide variety of STARTTS’ work.

“The people were so inspiring and I learned so much. It was a great opportunity to attend all the trainings: I did the Core Concepts in Working with People from Refugee Backgrounds and Biofeedback. I also went to the conference with Etzel Cardena about dissociation and hypnosis and it was so good.

“I got to the Youth Camp and it was a great experience to work with the children…activities I’ll definitely try out when I’m back in Germany. I did a little art project and it was also really inspiring work.”

Diem spent a lot of time observing the differences and similarities between Germany and Australia. Her Vietnamese family emigrated in the aftermath of the civil war, so she has a lot of personal insight into what migrants might go through when trying to settle in to a new country.

“I saw a lot of similarities of some issues between living in a different country than your original country.

“I had the chance to sit with the Assyrian focus group and they talked about the cultural transitions and the language problems and cultural/religious problems between the community and living here in Australia.”

Diem’s time at STARTTS opened her eyes up to different ways of working that she is keen to introduce back home, particularly as the influx of refugees into Germany during her time away from home has been little short of incredible.

“It was such a coincidence, I’m working here at STARTTS and then over in Germany it’s all changed!”

Read more about student placements and internships at STARTTS

STARTTS aims to be a safe place for all people and cultures. We work alongside people with expansive sexualities, genders and bodies with refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds to celebrate the diverse and rich lives of individuals and communities.


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