Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Meet Femy!

27 Mar

Welcome to Femy, who is helping DOSA out with administration work:

I am Femy Cherian, fromIndia, live in Craigieburn with my Family. My Family members are my husband Jento, little boy named Ryan, me and my brother-in –law Dijo.

I am interested in making new friends, new networks. My hobbies are watching movies, embroidery, cooking. I have enrolled at NMIT for Overseas Qualified Program (OQP), helps me to find a job/employment opportunity. I have 3 years experience in administration roles. On behalf of OQP we have to do a work placement, in which Meredith from DOSA and Sonya, my teacher from NMIT, helped me to get a work placement as administration assistant for 6 weeks at DOSA.

Femy brings some great administration and customer service skills to her student placement, and will be a great help to DOSA. We hope that she enjoys working with us.

Fantastic Theatre Opportunities for Overseas Students

15 Mar

If you are interested in acting or theatre, or finding out more about them, then there are 2 great projects for you to get involved in right now:


1. Have you got a story to tell?

All overseas students have a story to tell, and the community needs to hear them.

The Darebin Overseas Students Association and Platform Youth Theatre will be holding a series of theatre workshops.


These workshops will help participants to create and perform short theatre pieces based on the art of story telling. Participants will have the opportunity to perform their pieces at La Mama Theatre in July and August this year, either live or in a short film. The workshops will be fun, relaxed and friendly. They will help you create a short piece to perform, either on stage or in front of a camera. They will give you the confidence to stand in front of an audience and share your own special story.

Who can attend:        Overseas students (any level of experience welcome)
Cost:                           Free
Venue:                        Northlands Youth Centre
Day and time:            Every Sunday, 18th March-27 May 2012, 1.30-5pm
To register:      

We are looking for:
• People who like performing
• People who have always wanted to try but feel too shy, and who need a fun and friendly workshop to help them
• People who like making short films
• People who want to help out behind the scenes.

Need more information? Contact Meredith at 9480 8205 or

2. Students Invited to Take Part in an Exciting Theatre Project – no acting experience required!

Are you a student or spouse of a student interested in getting out, making new friends, developing new skills and having fun? The “Life’s a Gamble” Theatre Project are looking for interested students to take part in a fun theatre group.

Students who live, work or study in the northern region will be invited to participate in theatre workshops for two hours a week over 6 weeks (probably a Wednesday or Thursday evening form 6pm to 8pm with food provided). The workshops start around 4 April and will be facilitated by Brunswick Women’s Theatre and will involve students (both young men and women) acting out short, scripted scenes on topics relevant to issues they identify. The broad theme is gambling but other issues will also be raised. At the end of the project the rehearsed scenes will be performed at La Trobe Uni and elsewhere. At the end you will also get a certificate and if you are part of the La Trobe Award program you can claim the hours towards a bronze, silver or gold award.

To register your interest please email or phone Kate on or tel 9450 2080.

NEWSFLASH: Regular DOSA Drop In Sessions Start Tomorrow Night

7 Mar

DOSA is reopening it’s drop-in-sessions this week.
It will be on every Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon at Northland Youth Centre for international students.

You can chat with friends, relax, or take advantage if the activities the centre has to offer, for example pool and tennis tables, karaoke and x-box, free internet and more.
Or come along and make some new friends! 🙂
In the future we will also offer various workshops.

It is on Thursdays from 6.30pm to 9.00pm.
And Sundays from 12pm to 5pm.
You don’t have to stay there the whole time, just drop by whenever it suits you.

The Northland Youth Centre is located at Notrhland Shopping Centre near the buss stopps. It is right next to the Commonwealth Bank.

Feel free to bring friends along.
Hope to see you there!

Tonje and Ramin.

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


Free IELTS Preparation Resources

19 Jan

As some of you might know, DOSA is planning to offer activities that assist overseas students who live or study in the Darebin area* with help in preparing for IELTS tests. While you are waiting for that, check out these free resources at the State Library of Victoria:

“State Library of Victoria – Resources for Learning English.


The Library has dictionaries and grammar books to help you learn English, as well as a small selection of IELTS (International English Language Testing System) resources.

Library staff at the Information Desks can also help you to find books that are easy to read.


Dictionaries, grammar books and other resources are available in the:

Information Centre

  • English dictionaries – call number R423
  • Grammar books – call number R428
  • IELTS books – call number R428.0076

Redmond Barry Reading Room

Grammar books – call number R428 (Level 2A, upper level)


Electronic dictionaries and IELTS resources are also available online. To use these resources go to and click the ‘Research tools’ link to the right of ‘Search’ on the homepage. Then click:

  1. ‘in the Library’ under the eJournals, eBooks and CD-ROMs sub heading
  2. ‘Language literature and reviews’
  3. IELTS resources towards the bottom of the page


Melbourne City Library has an excellent collection of adult ESL (English as a Second Language) books which you can borrow.

The City Library is located at253 Flinders Lane,Melbourne. Go to for more information.

RMIT Library has many IELTS titles, however books are not able to be borrowed. Go to for more information.

Your local library also has books and a range of online resources.


When you are looking for IELTS and other information about learning English, try using these terms in your search engine:

  • ielts masterclass practice test
  • ielts
  • learning English
  • ielts preparation resources
  • world English ielts”

I am not sure, but you may have to become a member of the State Library of Victoria member in order to use their resources. This is free and easy and quick, and has many benefits as the State Library has many fantastic free resources. Go to the state Library of Victoria website for more information.

If you are an overseas student who is living or studying in the Darebin area and you would like to do some preparation for the IELTS test, then please leave a comment on our ‘DOSA Darebin’ facebook page or on this blog. Better yet, send your email address so that we can let you know when IELTS preparation is coming up. You can do this by sending a private message via our facebook page or email

Good luck with those IELTS tests!


*A list of suburbs in the Darebin area can be found on the About DOSA section of this blog.

Thanks for a Great Summer Camp!

18 Jan

The Overseas Students Summer Camp, held from the 15-17th January near Airey’s Inlet, is finally over. Due to illness I was unable to attend* but the first reports and photos are trickling through from those to attend. People seem to have had an absolutely wonderful time, and that’s fantastic to hear.

Putting on this Summer Camp takes a lot of organising and a lot of hard work. DOSA owes thanks to the following people:

  • City of Darebin/ Northlands Youth Centre staff – especially Jacqui who did an amazing job with organising the whole Summer Camp program (our camp was just one of four). Thanks also to Nik for his support (especially when it came to cooking…).
  • LaTrobe International staff members – Jo and Odra were incredibly committed to making the camp a success.
  • A big thank you must go to the overseas students who volunteered as peer leaders for the camp – Lily, Casey, Dzung, Sonneth, Ramin, Ahmed. It’s been wonderful to work with people who bring such generosity of spirit and great ideas to the table. I hope that you will all be inspired to continue to support the DOSA Capacity Building Project in the future.

Thanks also to all of the people who attended the camp. Your enthusiasm was a vital ingredient to the success of the camp, and the fact that you enjoyed it makes it all worthwhile.

I am sure that we will have a more formal evaluation of the camp. I am keen to hear any feedback that Camp participants may have. But, given that so many people worked so hard to make the camp happen, I felt that it was important to acknowledge that hard work as soon as possible. Thanks guys – DOSA is very grateful!


Project Worker

DOSA Capacity Building Project

*very grumpy about this!

Keep safe when travelling for the holidays! Important Health Advice

17 Jan

Just because you were born overseas does not mean you can not get sick if you go home for a visit. Your immune system changes when you spend time away from your home country, so you may no longer be protected from certain infections when you travel home. To avoid travel-related infections (e.g., typhoid, malaria, dengue, and hepatitis A) you should see your doctor before you travel (preferably at least 2-4 weeks before your trip). Vaccines, preventive medications, avoiding mosquito bites, eating safe foods and drinking only clean (bottled or boiled) water can help prevent these infections. For more information, call Royal Melbourne Hospital Travel Clinic (03 9342 7390) or your doctor’s centre or visit and Last but not least, if you become unwell during or after your trip you should see a doctor and mention that you have been overseas. 

Suggested links:

Travel Doctor

Tel: 1300 658844


Smart Traveller 


Travel Clinic; Royal Melbourne Hospital – Victorian Infectious Disease Unit


Tel: 03 9342 7390

This information was supplied to DOSA by Monash University as part of a special health promotion project.

Join Us For Operation O-Week

9 Jan

Join us for Operation O-Week!

DOSAhas been invited by LaTrobe International and NMIT to take part in their Orientation activities during February 2012. This is an excellent opportunity to promoteDOSAto overseas students. It is important that we promote ourselves well during orientation.

 Creating a great Orientation display or presentation takes thought, planning, and creativity. You are invited to become a part of the Operation O-Week project team.

DOSAis looking for overseas students to volunteer on Operation O-Week. We need people to:

1. Choose and plan the ways in whichDOSAcan promote itself. We could do anything from creating posters to giving out lollies to performing street theatre – we are only limited by our imagination.

2. Organise how the Operation O-Week project unfolds.

3. Make / create / find materials or displays we need.

4. Come to the Orientation Week activities to promoteDOSAto other overseas students.

You can be involved in any or all of the above.

Who should be involved?

Overseas students who live or study in the Darebin area who want to improve their skills or experience in the following:

  • Promotions
  • Project Coordination
  • Team work
  • Meeting new people
  • Making presentations
  • Making creative work

During 2012,DOSA needs to focus on its ability to survive in the future.DOSA will be focused on providing opportunities for overseas students to build up their skills and experience in organising DOSA. Operation O-Week will benefit DOSA by attracting new students to DOSA activities. Operation O-Week will benefit the students who work on the Operation O-Week team by helping to build their organisational skills in a fun way.

If you want to be involved then contact Meredith at or at Facebook (Dosa Darebin) or on 9480 8205.