December 7 2018
Eduard,* 19, has been a student at the Education First Youth Foyer at Kangan Institute, Broadmeadows since June 2018. Eduard moved to Australia from the Philippines when he was 16 to live with his father, relieving financial pressure on his mother who had just gone through a separation and had another dependent son.
Eduard didn’t know his father well before moving into his home. The expectation to get a part-time job and high standards around chores became sources of tension between Eduard and his father, particularly living with a stepmother and stepsisters he had just met.
The father-son relationship deteriorated quickly, degrading Eduard’s sense of support, safety and stability as he tried to complete his schooling. In 2017, after intense emotional stress and multiple threats he would be kicked out of home, Eduard sought the help of a youth worker.
After moving out of his father’s house he was only able to find affordable accommodation in an overcrowded share house. Up to four people lived in a room and he couldn’t sleep or study.
“ Even though I had a roof… there were holes in that roof. It wasn’t a home.”
He then moved into a house in Noble Park with a family and eventually into a flat in Clayton with his cousin who had also moved from the Philippines. Unfortunately that situation soon became untenable and unaffordable.
A youth worker from the Centre for Multicultural Youth ultimately referred Eduard to the Broadmeadows Education First Youth Foyer.
“When I started living here I met a lot of new friends, I received a lot of support. We get to go out a lot and do a lot of things for free. We also do volunteering too.”
Eduard, who now has permanent residency, says stable housing has enabled him to look to the future and get his education back on track.
“I don’t want to leave everything to the last minute. For me time is gold. I want to bring my mum here. In order to do that I need to be a citizen and have a stable profession.”
Eduard is currently doing year 12 and he has completed his First Aid Certificate, barista training and received his Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate. He has also managed to secure three jobs and plans to do a Diploma of Nursing at TAFE from 2019 so he can start a medical career.
With the support and stability of the Foyer, Eduard has been able to establish solid goals and plan out his life.
*Name changed by request