Navitas English Staff Recognised at 2020 Humanitarian Awards

Posted by on 23 June 2020

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Michelle Cowans, Learning Designer and Team leader of Digital Innovation at Navitas English, has received a highly commended award for Best Project at the 2020 NSW Humanitarian Awards.

The Awards are presented by the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) in partnership with the Refugee Council of Australia. The STARTTS Humanitarian awards acknowledge and thank people who have made an exceptional contribution towards refugee issues in NSW. They recognise the hard work and achievements of both individuals and organisations that play a significant role in improving the life of refugees.

Ms Cowans, nominated by her peers at Navitas English, received the commendation for her efforts in developing Navitas English’s English for Swimming Program. The innovative program was introduced to enable and empower women from migrant and refugee communities by developing their swimming and water safety skills. Alongside traditional swimming lessons, the program included innovative methods such as virtual reality videos to acclimatise and immerse students safely before getting into the water. Short mindfulness meditation practices were also utilised to help calm the minds of anxious students.

“Our focus at Navitas English has always been to support vulnerable communities with services that improve their quality of life. Our core values of inclusiveness that underpin our programs reflect what we hope for our wider society especially with current world events.” Ms Cowans said.

“I’m humbled that our program has made such a positive impact.”

Two other Navitas English employees were recognised at the Humanitarian Awards. Employment Mentor Marianne Aliperti was nominated for the Best Project Award for her involvement in the Navitas English ACHIEVE Program, which is a customised program aimed at helping people over 45 to gain hands-on work experience and develop essential employment skills. Project Support Officer Basim Shamoan was also nominated as a refugee community worker for his work supporting Assyrian, Chaldean and Mandean refugee communities.

The Executive General Manager of Navitas Government Services and Employment, Michael Cox, said the awards and nominations recognised the significant and vital role that many Navitas English employees play in supporting refugees and the community at large.

“Navitas English has a long and proud history of delivering the highest quality programs and services to Australia’s refugee and migrant population. I’m exceptionally proud of the achievements of Michelle, Marianna and Basim - and know that they will continue to make significant contributions going forward.”

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