Blog

Meet RMCC’s Co-Founder Bobby Allen

Almost five years ago the RMCC journey started. From our early beginnings as a local homework club to opening Australia’s first Refugee Migrant Children Centre last year, Bobby has been with us every step of the way. As a Director and Project Manager at RMCC, he has celebrated our major milestones whilst also providing tangible solutions in times of uncertainty and hardship. Bobby has worked tirelessly on RMCC programs from running our first session to the present day whereby he constantly seeks to expand our program portfolio and manages a team of Program Assistants and mentors.

Bobby’s enthusiasm and constant commitment to help secure the future for all our families and their futures sets him apart and makes RMCC programs unique. He is adored and respected by everyone throughout the organisation, from key stakeholders and volunteers to the beneficiaries we help every week.

So, it is with great excitement that we announce that Bobby Allen will now be formally recognised as a Co-Founder of RMCC. Alice Wojcik, our CEO and Founder, comments that “without him RMCC wouldn’t exist and every time I speak about the organisation it’s as we, not I.” Bobby has been right beside Alice throughout RMCC’s journey, providing constant support and making sacrifices so that they can achieve their RMCC dream.

Bobby certainly doesn’t like to take the limelight, so it has taken us some time to convince him that he should be formally recognised for the invaluable contribution he has brought to the team. RMCC couldn’t be more excited about Bobby’s official new title and would once again like to extend our appreciation for all he has done so far for RMCC.

We can’t wait to see what Bobby continues to achieve- we know it’s going to be brilliant!

RMCC headquarters relocate to Sunshine

After over a year in our Footscray HQ, we have some incredibly exciting to news to share with you! On the 1st of May, we officially moved from our Footscray base to a bigger and better space in Sunshine. You will now be able to find us at 21A Sun Crescent, Sunshine, which is just a short walk from the town centre and Sunshine train station.

Relocating to Sunshine allows for the growth of our services, providing a stronger central presence and connection from Melbourne’s North to South-West. This is the first step in our plan to widen our service reach for refugee and migrant children and youth, ensuring they have access to RMCC's unique and holistic programs. Alice Wojcik, our Founder and CEO, comments that

“Our new RMCC headquarters will bring new and exciting prospects for refugee & migrant children in Melbourne’s West. We look forward bringing those to life for the kids.”

This move represents an exciting change for the RMCC family so we are keen to share the space with you all. We are open from 10am-5pm every weekday, and we would love it if lots of you popped by to say hello.

As the team continues to settle into the new office, we would like to say a big thank you to all the supporters of our working bee who gave up their weekend to give our new office some much needed TLC. We really appreciate your help. Also as the work took longer than expected, we would like to recognise friends and family of RMCC that continued to pitch in for the next two weeks. We honestly can't thank you enough as your help ensured that we were able to open the office on time.

Likewise, without generous furniture donations from Next Wave, Amrick and Alan via Pozible, our office would simple look empty! All your donations ensure that our programs and volunteers have a nice space to work in.

Due to the sheer scale of the new space, we are still after a few extra items of furniture, so if you know anyone who would be willing to give some bookshelves a loving home, we would love to hear from you! Please email us on contact@rmccaustralia.org.au.

Refugee Children Charity Melbourne

Goodbye Tomorrow Foundation, Hello RMCC!

We have some incredibly exciting news that we have been eagerly waiting to announce! As of Wednesday 5th April 2017, our name will officially change to Refugee Migrant Children Centre (RMCC), with Tomorrow Foundation (TF) being dropped indefinitely.

We have decided to make this change to reflect the direction and priority we have as a charity. From humble beginnings, we started as a homework club in 2012, operating in a local primary school and in 2016 we took the huge step of opening Victoria’s first Refugee Migrant Children Centre. With this new space, huge growth rippled down the organisation with new volunteers getting involved and new programs launching.

Our five programs now all focus on providing additional educational and social development services for refugee and migrant children in the local vicinity. These tailored services empower, build knowledge and develop confidence in children across our programs as we aim to break down the barriers they often face throughout their resettlement journey. We have also grown in terms of people power with an increase in volunteer numbers and opportunities available. It’s incredible to think that we have gone from a family in single digits to now having over 32 dedicated volunteers and a Board of Directors.

The heart of what we do, our mission, still remains simple and unchanged, such that “we believe each child has the right to equal opportunities.” With a targeted focus over the past year on helping refugee and migrant children and youth, we feel that by dropping Tomorrow Foundation from our name it provides clarity on our direction and goals as an organisation. We no longer have such a broad focus, ultimately we are here to do one thing, and our new name reflects this.

As we continue with this exciting phase of growth, we hope you agree we have made the right choice! We would love to take the opportunity to thank our supporters for their constant encouragement, guidance and generosity. It is because of you guys that this exciting evolution is happening, and we look forward to bringing you with us on our journey as RMCC.

Constance on the Edge – Success!

In February, RMCC successfully hosted two screenings of the Australian documentary Constance on the Edge. Filmed over ten years, it follows Constance and her family as they try to rebuild their lives in rural Australia and transcend their painful pasts.

The response to the film was wonderful. Everyone applauded at the end of the documentary, having been captivated by Constance’s humour and strength. Watching her family overcome their challenges with resilience was also very inspiring.

After the film screening, we ran a panel discussion and Q&A session that lasted for half an hour. The purpose of this discussion was to allow the audience to further understand the resettlement challenges that refugee and migrant youth in Australia face. Our four panelists, Sherry-Rose Bih, Meriam Siraj, Aref Ramazani and Iltaf Hussain shared their first-hand experiences on racism, discrimination, mental health, and support systems.

Audience members also asked questions and provided input on how to address issues facing refugees and migrants during their resettlement, particularly in response to racism and discrimination. Our panellists were unanimous in thinking the best way to address these issues is to hold people accountable for their words and actions, and to educate people on being more open-minded and respectful. As Sherry-Rose puts it, “You don’t realize you’re different until someone else points it out.” A celebration of our diverse culture and inclusiveness, instead of pointing out someone’s differences ought to be the way to go.

A consistent theme of the night for both the documentary and the panel discussion was how we need to be more supportive to refugees and migrants in order to help ease their journey as they resettle into a new community. Arguably, we can all make a difference, whether it is volunteering with an organization invested in this issue or simply providing a helping hand and being a friendly face to a recently resettled family in your neighbourhood. We as an organization assist with refugee and migrant family’s resettlement in Melbourne through our tailored services that build confidence, empower and educate, but the time has come to question what are you doing to help?