Archive | February, 2012

DOSA February Newsletter

29 Feb

Darebin Overseas Student Association (DOSA)

Newsletter, February 2012

 Hi there! Welcome back to those of you who are returning to your courses after your holiday – I hope you had a great break. To those of you who are new arrivals and just starting your courses – Welcome! We hope that you have a great time inAustralia. This newsletter contains some exciting upcoming events and opportunities, so read on…

1. Opportunity Showcase – 4 March, 2-4pm, Northland Youth Centre

Come along and find out about the exciting opportunities for DOSA in 2012. We can offer overseas students the chance to be involved in lots of different things: sport, arts and theatre, games, workshops, feasts, excursions. Come along and choose what you want to do. Sign up to participate in IELTS preparation sessions, theatre projects, day trips and workshops.

2012 will be an important year for DOSA – hear about what lies ahead for DOSA, and have your say about DOSA’s future plans.

2. Want to do some acting or learn how to write a script? Get involved with DOSA’s theatre projects in 2012.

DOSA and Platform Youth Theatre ( will be working together in 2012 and 2013 to create some theatre works based on the experiences of overseas students. This is an exciting opportunity for overseas students to get involved with one of Melbourne’s best youth theatre companies. Overseas students of all levels of experience are welcome. Come along to the Opportunity Showcase 4th March to find out more and to sign up to take part. If you can’t make it to the Opportunity Showcases, then just email Meredith at

3. Do you have an idea, project or activity for women? Get involved in International Women’s Day, 2-7pm, Thursday 6 March

The City of Darebinwill be holding the International Women’s Day Event at PrestonCity Hall. DOSA will have an information stall at this event, so if you have a project or an activity for women that you would like to promote then please let us know and we can include the information on our stall. If you have an activity (art, massage, henna painting, face painting for kids) that you would like to do at this event then you should also get in touch with us – . The deadline for submitting your information or activities is 1 March.

4. IELTS Preparation Update

Many overseas students have requested help in preparing for IELTS. DOSA is working on organizing some sessions to help with this. The sessions will be held at venues in Prestonand will either be free or low cost. We are in the process of recruiting people to tutor at these sessions. If you are interested in participating in these sessions (either as a learner or as a volunteer tutor) then please contact Meredith at

5. Want to run your own project? Want to run your own group? How can DOSA help you to do this?

During 2012, DOSA is being funded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. This money is meant to be spent on any activity that can help overseas students learn the skills and gain the knowledge to manage their own projects or run their own student groups. Do you need a workshop on how to apply for funding, or a mentor to advise you on promoting an event, or a venue to hold a meeting, or help in photocopying some fliers? If you want to know how DOSA can help, then come along to one of the Opportunity Showcases on February 23 (6.30-9pm) or March 4 (2-4pm) to find out how, or contact Meredith at

Of course, one MAJOR project or group you could get involved in running is DOSA itself!

So what exactly does the future hold for DOSA? You tell us! It is very important for DOSA to start thinking about the future. DOSA is funded only up until 30 September 2012. After this there will be no more money and no more project worker. If you think that it’s important for DOSA to survive as a group, or for activities like the Drop In sessions to be offered to overseas students in the future then help DOSA come up with a plan as to how they are going to survive into the future. People who are a part of DOSA need to say what they want DOSA to be and how they think we should organize this. Come along to one of the Opportunity Showcase on March 4 (2-4pm) to find out how you can be involved, or contact Meredith at




DOSAis funded by the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship through the Diversity and Social Cohesion Program. For more information, visit

Great Opportunity for Overseas Students with Marketing Skills

8 Feb

Help International Students and develop your career skills

 Social Marketing Working Group

 We recently recieved the following information from our friends at Gamblers Help. If you want to contact them, their email addresses are towards the bottom of this blog:

We are looking for international students with;

  •  A passion for social issues,
  • Skills in marketing,
  • A flair for graphic design and social media, and
  • Connections with International Student groups.

We are seeking international students with a range of marketing skills to develop and implement a social marketing campaign. This short term project will assist the Gambler’s Help services reduce the vulnerability of international students to problem gambling.

In return, you will;

  • Gain hands on experience in developing and implementing a social marketing campaign,
  • Increase invaluable career skills in the areas of project planning and management, leadership and budgeting,
  • Help other international students.

The objectives of the campaign will be to provide students with information about responsible gambling behaviours, the signs of problem gambling and help seeking options. Utilising focus groups, the workgroup will be expected to devise, design and test original creative that favours online distribution.

This mentored program will consist of 6-8 fortnightly workshops over four months, commencing February.

 Location: Carlton

Time required: 2 hours a fortnight

Duration of project: March-June 2012

 If you are interested, email your CV by 10th February to:

 Tatiana Walker


Kate Hufschmid


More information:

A combination of newfound freedom away from family, access to money intended for study and living expenses and bouts of homesickness and depression, is causing many international students to gamble themselves – and their families – into deep financial trouble. In response to this, Multicultural Gambler’s Help Program (MGHP), Gambler’s Help Eastern (GHE), Gambler’s Help Northern (GHN), Gambler’s Help Southern (GHS) and Gambler’s Help City (GHC) have been working cooperatively to develop and implement a suite of prevention and early intervention strategies.

The next stage of this will involve the formation of the Social Marketing Working Group with representation from a select group of International Students who will develop and implement a campaign to assist Gambler’s Help services reduce the vulnerability of international students to problem gambling.

The working group members will be selected for their marketing, graphic design and online skills. Once a fortnight over four months, the workgroup will convene to develop culturally relevant marketing material, as well as build their own career skill-sets.”

DOSA will also need help with marketing and communications during this year, and will soon be able to offer similar opportunities to this one. Stay tuned…

DOSA and Headless Chickens

1 Feb

I recently read a very good article written by Isabelle Laskari and published on the ArtsHub website. This article actually offers careers advice to someone who wants to work in the arts industry. But I think that this article is also very relevant toDOSA at the moment.

The article offers 5 main pieces of advice:

“1. Think carefully about what you want most out of your career.”

OK,DOSAis not developing a career. But DOSAis developing itself as a group. DOSA is at a stage where it needs to think carefully about what it wants in the future. The author of this article goes on to say “Perhaps the thing that most stands in the way of people accomplishing their… goals is that they don’t… really give it enough thought.” Many overseas students are intelligent and thoughtful individuals. The overseas students involved inDOSAneed to make sure that DOSA’s goals, plans and actions are also the result of intelligence and thought.

“2. Refine your skills…there’s sure to be something you could do a little better.”

Overseas students are talented and clever – you are all here doing tertiary study after all! And you are all resourceful – organizing your life so that you can live and study in another country is an achievement all by itself. What skills do you have that you would like to improve on?

“3. Learn from others.”

During 2012, DOSAwill be focusing on developing itself as a strong student organization. This means that DOSAwill need to use the skills of the overseas students who become a part of DOSA. But it also means that DOSA needs to make sure that those students have the skills and confidence to run a student organisation. During 2012, DOSAwill offer overseas students opportunities to refine existing skills and to learn new skills from others.

“4. Build your professional network.”

There are many individuals and groups who can support DOSA, and help it to become a strong group with strong chances of survival.

“5. Organise yourself.”

There is an old Australian saying – “running around like headless chooks*” – that is used to describe people who are disorganized. DOSAneeds to spend time creating good systems in administration, organization and communication. As a group, we need to make sure that we are coordinated and clear about what each individual is doing. If we are not coordinated and if we don’t set goals and plan, the risk is that we could become involved, at random, in activities that require us to spend a lot of time and energy. These random activities might not actually help us learn new skills or survive in the future. We might end up looking like a headless chook – lots of rushing around and energetic movement. But like a bird without a head, this flapping about will get us nowhere and achieve nothing.

I like this article because it maps out a plan:

  • Think
  • Refine / Learn
  • Build networks
  • Organise

I think the trick is to make time for all of this. Life can be so busy and rushed, especially for overseas students who have to balance study, work, friends and family as well as learning about living in a new country. As project worker, I am only paid to work for DOSA for 18 hours per week, which is not a lot of time.

First of all, if we want DOSAto survive and prosper then we have to be determined to make time to think. During 2012, DOSAwill be organizing some opportunities for overseas students to come together, share some ideas, set some goals and think out a plan. This plan will help us to make time and opportunities to learn, network and organize.

This will be interesting work. Get involved. It will provide a workout for your brain and your imagination. You will meet great people, have some passionate discussions, and go to some fun events. Your skills and confidence will develop. DOSAexists for overseas students – help it to be all it can be. It is something you can put your heart and soul into, knowing that you are also creating a student organization that can help other overseas students.

‘Resolve to fix your New Year career’:

*chooks = Australian slang for chickens