How RMCC is Different to Other Orgs

Our RMCC journey began because of a need that was not being met. We decided to mix things up by working a little differently in the way we approached a complex issue.

RMCC creates a collaboration of the key figures in a child’s life and supports them to work together for the educational and social needs of each child. We also provide each kid access to mentors from a diverse background that they can relate to. This means that all barriers are being tackled in unison by an extensive support network. Our focus on the key areas of education, identity and belonging, life skills, and mental health and wellbeing ensures that there are no gaps in our network and that we continue to overcome barriers wherever they arise to improve educational and social outcomes.

RMCC provides a space where kids can grow confidence and establish social connections while increasing their own independence. Schools are also supported with opportunities to explore how they can establish a support system within their school community and how RMCC can help them get there through strategic planning and professional development.


We build a personal connection

It takes time for a child to find their bearings and not all barriers arise at once. That is why we don’t just provide support through the first 6 to 12 months of resettlement, but provide ongoing programs and support to families and schools during and after this time. This helps to guarantee every child is supported throughout their journey, however long it may take.

We always begin by working with each child to address their individual needs. We then support their parents or guardians and schools to do the same. This helps to build the same sense of value, identity and understanding throughout their school and home lives, while making sure each kid can comfortably find (and use) their own voice.

We also recognise that not all children face the same difficulties during resettlement — some may face language barriers, may have never attended school, some are socially isolated or are learning to walk between two or more cultures. This is why all of our programs are specially designed with tangibility at the forefront to address these issues.


“Some of the differences are that we provide weekly mentoring programs, so we don’t teach or dictate what each kid should be doing but empower them to be able to overcome the barriers they face themselves in a way that works best for them. This means that each program is fluid for each kid because we tailor it to their needs.” — Alice Wojcik, RMCC


We work with our greater community

Last but most certainly not least, outside of our partnerships with schools and settlement agencies we work with the greater community so they can learn more about how they can support Australia’s newest and youngest members. Whether it is a business discovering what it means to walk between two or more cultures, or a classroom of students learning about what the settlement journey entails, it all plays an important part of growing an inclusive and welcoming community for all.


Want to read more features like this? Click here to visit our blog!

Backstage with our RMCC mentors

“My favourite thing about mentoring is that I am able to assist children who are currently experiencing similar marginalisation, financial hardship and social barriers that I faced when I was young. It is truly gratifying to know that as a mentor, I have the potential to not only nurture these children and see them flourish, but to also positively change a social problem”.

These are the words of Tony — a RMCC mentor and friend who’s been a familiar face in one of our programs for the past 7 months.

At RMCC, it’s safe to say we’d be lost without our incredible, generous mentors, who donate their spare time and energy to stand by our goal of ensuring no refugee or migrant child slips through the cracks.

They do this by guiding and supporting their mentees in developing knowledge, skills and confidence that will allow them to fully engage in their education and feel a greater part of their community.

To date, we have successfully supported 650 children through our range of programs, which includes Sidekicks Junior and Sidekicks Senior, Family Learning Clubs, school holiday programs and life skill workshops.

And we don’t plan on stopping here. In fact, our 2020 goal is to support 2,000 kids, which is equivalent to the number of refugee and migrant children who resettle in Victoria every single year.

Why is mentoring so important?

Studies have shown that disadvantaged kids who have a mentor are 130% more likely to hold a leadership position in a club, school council or sports team, and 81% more likely to participate in sports or extracurricular activities.

Not only this, but children who regularly meet with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school, 37% less likely to skip a class and 55% more likely to enrol in university.

So, what is it like to become a RMCC mentor?

Mentoring at RMCC is so much more than just helping out with homework and teaching new skills. It’s about bonding long-term friendships and providing a stable form of support that kids can wholeheartedly rely on — something that is really important in this time of uncertainty and change.

Here’s RMCC mentor, Seraphina, to tell you about her experience:

“It is amazing to see the progress of kids from when I started in February until now! I’ve assisted a number of children with their reading and writing and seen their confidence grow with each session, as well as their enthusiasm and willingness to engage with the different mentors and other children. It’s been a great experience”.

Ready to make a difference?

Check out Tony’s advice to anyone who wants to become part of the RMCC family:

“From personal experience, the best advice I can give to any future mentor is to come into the room with two things: a receptive heart and a set of ears. Why? Because mentoring is a ‘two-way street’ and it is those two things that make the children feel respected and appreciated”.

Click here to read more about why we do what we do, or check out our volunteer page to see how you can get involved.

You can also make a tax-deductible donation by clicking here.

Why We Do What We Do: the RMCC story

Making new friends, keeping up with the curriculum and feeling understood in a classroom of 30+ are all common struggles we experience when growing up. But for refugee and migrant children this is just the beginning.

Every year, 2,000 children from all corners of the globe are resettled in Victoria. This is their chance to start a fresh and create their own opportunities — but it doesn’t come without its challenges.

Language barriers, social changes and education indifferences can all trigger an overwhelming sense of detachment and insecurity.

“There is limited understanding and knowledge about the unique challenges refugee children and youth face once in their new country of settlement, making it a silent battle they are facing with inadequate short to long-term services to help them overcome these barriers and reach their full potential”
— Alice Wojcik, CEO and Founder of RMCC.

It’s because of this, RMCC exists. Together with our amazing network of volunteers and supporters, we tackle the unique barriers faced during the settlement journey to help make sure no kid is left behind.

Our Impact

From humble beginnings in 2012 to now, RMCC has empowered over 650 kids across multiple programs that target 4 specific areas: education, identity and belonging, life skills, and mental health and wellbeing.

These target areas create confidence, increase independence and prioritise wellbeing, so that a sense of belonging, value and identity can be developed within their direct and greater communities.

“You can see something shifts in the kids after some time with RMCC. Often, I first see them struggling with their challenges or reality, but over time they start gaining hope and looking to the future knowing they can become the best versions of themselves, and can take on or become anything” — Alice Wojcik

Why We Need Your Help

It’s black and white. We need your help because we know we’re making a huge difference to the lives of refugee and migrant children, and physically don’t have the capacity to reach more.

By joining in with our 30by30 campaign this month, you can help us get at least 30 children off our waiting list, and enrolled into programs that will help them develop a true sense of belonging.

Click here to learn how you can get involved — from hosting a school or corporate fundraising event, to becoming a regular donor or contributing a one-off donation, there are so many ways you can help!

5 Steps to Make Your School More Inclusive

admin | Uncategorized

More than a quarter of Australians are born overseas, making Australia one of the most multicultural countries in the world. With so many new Australians, many of us are eager to make our society more welcoming, but might not know where to start.

Inclusion in the classroom and the schoolyard are vitally important for kids who are arriving in Australia at a formative time of their lives, as well as for their families who are getting their bearings in a new country. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to help them settle in.

1. Do your research. Spend some time developing knowledge about the different cultural backgrounds of children in your school, to help guide your approach to new students. Be mindful that within every group is a rich tapestry of difference and it’s still crucial to treat students as individuals, rather than representatives of their culture.

2. Use plain English and large print. By using plain English on handouts, notices to parents and classroom displays, you’re making sure you have the best chance of communicating with everyone. Plain English is not only easier for English learners to understand, but also has the advantage of accommodating students and parents with different learning abilities.

3. Where you can, offer an interpreter. Offering a professional interpreter to students’ parents can help increase their involvement and help them to feel part of the school community. It’s also thoughtful to offer an ‘open door’ policy, setting aside certain hours for parents and carers to come in and share their thoughts and concerns.

4. Teach kids about our diverse community. Use classroom projects as an opportunity to expose students to other cultures and the fascinating ways different people live and express themselves. Some project ideas include: asking students to interview members of the community, starting a book club with texts from a variety of sources, or establishing a pen pal program with other children overseas.

5. Instill the idea of social responsibility. Encourage students to understand their rights and the power they have as citizens to advocate for the kind of world they want to live in. Teaching kids to write letters to politicians, attend community meetings or run small-scale fundraisers for causes they believe in helps them to feel confident in their ability to shape a future that includes everyone.

The items on this list are just a starting point – ultimately making your school a caring, welcoming environment for new Australians is a collaborative project that requires everyone’s help to succeed, but there is still plenty we can do as individuals. T

he schoolyard can be a big, scary place for a young person in a new country, and it can be the little things that make it that bit easier to feel at home!