Why is Opening Doors important?

Opening Doors is a pioneering project which brings young humanitarian immigrants in contact with Australian science and technology (S&T).

The Australian Government is committed to engage all Australians with science and technology, which are important components of Australian culture. The Inspiring Australia initiative by the Federal Government, for instance, has recommended that,

“It is essential to recognise the diversity within and among the Australian public, including non‐traditional audiences who are difficult to reach and are usually unengaged with scientific issues, such as indigenous communities, migrant communities and English second‐language speakers. Such an approach is vital to foster an appreciation of science and its contribution to solving complex issues; and a strong, open relationship between science and society’ among the constituent parts of our national innovation system.”

Similarly, the Settlement Grants Program by Department of Immigration and Citizenship suggests that national settlement services for newly arrived migrants should include innovative approaches to engage young refugees and migrants.

However, there have not been any programs so far that offer young humanitarian immigrants opportunities to experience Australian science and technology – Opening Doors does offer those opportunities!

Who benefits from Opening Doors?

Opening Doors offers science engagement programs to young humanitarian immigrants aged between 15 and 24 years. The participants are culturally and linguistically diverse, and come from disadvantaged backgrounds with limited access science and technology-based studies and career pathways.

Research has shown that the attitudes formed by young people frame the way they will interact with science later in life. By fostering positive attitudes, Opening Doors attempts to encourage young refugee migrants to study about and consider careers in science and technology.

In addition to being better equipped to contribute scientifically to national innovation in Australia, it is firmly believed that access to science and technology will improve settlement dimensions, such as independence and personal wellbeing of newly arrived young refugee migrants to Australia.

Limited project funding has enabled only young humanitarian immigrants residing in Canberra and Goulburn to participate in Opening Doors.

What are the science engagement programs offered by Opening Doors?

Opening Doors offers programs in conjunction with existing science engagement resources that are available to the Australian public.

However, the young humanitarian immigrants’ access to these programs is purposefully engineered to allow meaningful and relevant connections with science and technology in Australia.

Opening Doors offers science engagement programs in conjunction with the following venues: