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The AMEP & Me

An art exhibition by the students of Navitas Skilled Futures, creatively showcasing the differences that the AMEP has made to their lives.

Celebrating 75 years of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), this unique visual art exhibition has been curated by the students of Navitas Skilled Futures, showcasing the life-altering effects the program has had on their settlement journeys.

For this exhibition, students were invited to submit an artistic representation of their experience “before the AMEP” and “after the AMEP”. We received submissions across all Navitas Skilled Futures colleges in NSW and the ACT, and a number were selected to be displayed.

This roving exhibition will commence in Fairfield, in South West Sydney, in December 2023, and will continue to move through Western Sydney and the ACT for the coming months.

If you’re unable to make it to the exhibition, we’ve shared some of the submissions below.

The AMEP and Me – NSF Student Art Exhibition

Jing Liu

Jing Liu AMEP and me student art exhibition 3

Enrolment Year: 2017

Country of Origin: China

Visa: Partner

Studied: AMEP, Computer Skills

Iʼve been in Australia for seven years, but COVID-19 has kept me from going back to China for three years. In October 2022, I returned to my hometown and spent the Chinese Spring Festival at home.

The Lunar NEW YEAR is important for Chinese people. It lasts for the first five days of the year. During this time, all people do not work except for the workers on duty. Students do not go to school, and shops are closed. Houses are cleaned; couplets are posted on the doors. Colourful lanterns are hung at the gates. I often play biliards with my friends, never care about winning or losing, just to have fun. I go to a BBQ with my friends, go for drinks, or play games at home. Everyone is relaxed and happy on the Chinese New Year.

When I came back to Australia, I knew I needed to improve my English and it helped me a lot to find a new job. I used to work as a baker, but it was very tiring. I used to get up at 4:30 in the morning and finish at 2:30 in the afternoon. Then I went home and cooked for the next day. I need a different job, so I came to Navitas English school to learn English.

My teacher always has a nice smile on her face, and she likes her job very much. In her class, she can get students involved in learning and doing exercises. Sheʼll repeat it many times until we learn something new, most students like to be in her class. I also have some very friendly classmates. I remember a lady, in her free time, went to the farm to pick mandarins and gave them to us. Afterwards I made cheesecake for my classmates. I enjoy my life right now.

Jing Jing

Jing Jing AMEP and me student art exhibition 3

Enrolment Year: 2013

Country of Origin: Malaysia

Visa: Partner

Studied: AMEP

Hi, my name is Jing Jing. I am currently studying in Navitas Banktown.

I am originally from Malaysia and I have been living in Australia for 10 years since April 2013. I have integrated since day one into this amazing society. Flying away far from home was never easy, when I got on the plane to come to Australia, I was very excited for my new life in a beautiful country. But at the same time, I knew it would be difficult because my English is not that good. After 9 years of marriage and three children, I decided to improve my English skills, so I enrolled in the Navitas AMEP. It is a great experience to settle in Australia and it’s one of the best things I have ever done.

The opportunity to interact with classmates from all over the world is an awesome experience. After 10 months of studying English, my family and I agree that my English skills are much better than before. I am able to understand a lot of words and am now confident enough communicating in English to help me achieve my goals of working in a recruitment agency. I am working as an administrative officer.

I am very confident in my ability to succeed professionally in Australia, and I am eager to continue growing my skills and experience in this new chapter of my career.

Navitas has really given me the right pathway for my future. Thanks to all my teachers of Navitas Bankstown for encouraging me.

Richa Katosh

Richa Katosh AMEP and me student art exhibition 3

Enrolment Year: 2016

Country of Origin: India

Visa: Partner

Studied: AMEP, Computer Skills

Hello, my name is Richa and this is a picture of me before I went to college in India (Picture 1). I used to be quiet, reserved and shy. My relatives said: “You do not speak English how are you going to survive in Australia?”

Now I an AMEP [Adult Migrant English Program] student. This is me now (Picture 2). I have gained courage and confidence from attending Navitas Bankstown College and I now believe I can accomplish anything. I could not do that without support from Navitas staff. Please accept my deepest thanks Navitas College!

Maiss Ayoub

Maiss Ayoub AMEP and me student art exhibition 3

Enrolment Year: 2023

Country of Origin: Syria

Visa: Humanitarian

Studied: AMEP, IELTS

I am from Syria, from a village called Al-Hawash. Syria is a beautiful country, but its conditions are difficult after the war of 2011. I am a new resident here since 3 weeks. At first day I noticed the vast spaces, I started to practice driving, and it was my good fortune that I started learning English with Navitas.

Australia is a multicultural society with migrants coming from many different cultures and religions. All people have the right to express their culture and beliefs.

Australia is much different. Driving on the left. The timing is different from Syria. Christmas comes in winter, but here comes in summer. Australia distinguished by the strict law, and who does not like the system. I hope to amend my university degree in addition to my work as a tattoo artist. I am optimistic in my new country, God willing, and my country will remain in my heart and proud of me.

Nan Nan

Nan Nan AMEP and me student art exhibition 3

Enrolment Year: 2023

Country of Origin: Thailand

Visa: Partner

Studied: AMEP

When I was in Thailand, it was very expensive to study English with Native teacher there.

So, I needed to study for free-online via my notebook computer and alone at home.

When I had a question, I could not ask anyone.

Now, I am living in Australia. Navitas school helps me to learn English in a class. I really appreciate and enjoy studying here with my kind teachers and nice friends.

Sherin Gul Alizada

Sherin Gul Alizada AMEP and me student art exhibition 3

Enrolment Year: 2021

Country of Origin: Afghanistan

Visa: Humanitarian

Studied: AMEP, Citizenship

Hi, my name is Sherin, it‘s one year that I have started AMEP program, and I am so happy with my progress and thankful from kind and experienced teachers to help me to achieve my goals. Before I was not able to go out and catch a bus or train, now I am able to do all my daily tasks by myself without having others help.

That was me before AMEP program. At that time I was at home most of the time, because I was not able to go out without help of my family member, I was not able to catch public transport and do my shopping or going to my friend’s house. It was was hard time for me.

Shahrbanu Ahmadi

Shahrbanu Ahmadi AMEP and me student art exhibition 3

Enrolment Year: 2023

Country of Origin: Afghanistan

Visa: Humanitarian

Studied: AMEP, Basic Computer Skills

I am from Afghanistan. I came to Australia on February 17th 2023.

In the first picture, I wanted to study but Taliban didn’t let me. Now I am in Australia, I can go to Navitas and study English.

In the second picture, I drew the Opera House in Sydney.

Linghe Ji

Linghe Ji AMEP and me student art exhibition 3

Enrolment Year: 2020

Country of Origin: China

Visa: Partner

Studied: AMEP

When the pandemic ended, my wife and I decided to settle in Australia. This is a big change for us in our life, and it means we have to start all over again. When I arrived in Australia, I felt something blocked me and my surroundings, like a glass, I could see the outside world, but I couldnʼt touch it. I realised it was a language problem so I came to Navitas to learn English.

I havenʼt been to school for 20 years, and this time going back to school I am not confident in learning English. At first I didn’t even dare to speak in the classroom, but with the help of the teacher, gradually I started to speak, I can go to the restaurant to order food, I will learn some words every day although I keep forgetting, but I continue to persist and feel an enthusiasm for learning. I realised that I like studying here. In the past, I always avoided English when I saw it. Why did I like to study English?

Until one day the teacher Marketa told me “Donʼt tell me, what is this? I want to know how you do.” I realise itʼs a different kind of education, using logic and reasoning instead of deriving causes from given answers. At the same time, I also realised what German educator Karl Jaspers said: Education is a tree shaking a tree, a cloud to promote a cloud, a soul awakens another soul.

Zhengming Li

Zhengming Li AMEP and me student art exhibition 3

Enrolment Year: 2023

Country of Origin: China

Visa: Partner

Studied: AMEP

As soon as the baby learns to climb, he yearns for heights and goes forward bravely. I said: “Donʼt worry. Long life, long way to go!”

I want to see the world.

Su Kyung Kim

Su Kyung Kim AMEP and me student art exhibition 3

Enrolment Year: 2010

Country of Origin: Korea, Republic of (South)

Visa: Partner

Studied: AMEP, Speaking and Listening Skills, English for Citizenship

Photo 1 is taken in my hometown in South Korea overlooking where our apartment was located. My husband and I often walked in this area to stay healthy and feel relaxed.

Photo 2 is taken at the new Parliament House overlooking the old Parliament House, while my husband and I had coffee and cake. That day we were happy because we felt that we had completed our move to Canberra from South Korea.

Zena Ablahad

Zena Ablahad AMEP and me student art exhibition 3

Enrolment Year: 2023

Country of Origin: Iraq

Visa: Humanitarian

Studied: AMEP

I lived in Iraq since my childhood but had to flee with my family due to war and persecution. We applied to come to Australia as refugees in 2016 but had to stay in Jordan for 6 years while our application was being processed.

Staying in Jordan brought a lot of negative feelings and instability because it wasn’t the country we wanted to live in. I was going to live in Australia but wasn’t there yet. Having to wait a long time in Jordan made me nervous and worried wondering whether we will ever get to Australia. The fear of the unknown brought about panic-attacks. I feared of what will happen in the future, will we get a chance to go to Australia or not?

Finally, the day came in August 2022 when we landed in Australia. I felt very happy and relieved. Now I am settled. I feel safe and have rights. Australia is a land of opportunities and has a lot of things to offer which my country couldn’t. I am studying English at Navitas, the teachers and classmates are very friendly and helpful. My children are doing well at school too. I hope to have a job sometime soon.

I feel happy because I see my family happy. I also met my parents and my husband’s parents for the first time in six years.

Australia embraced me. I am so thankful and grateful to God and Australia.

Nidhal Matti

Nidhal Matti AMEP and me student art exhibition 3

Enrolment Year: 2021

Country of Origin: Iraq

Visa: Humanitarian

Studied: AMEP, Citizenship

My mother and I are from Iraq. Before we come to Australia, my country Iraq was at war, we decided to leave Iraq. I was very worried about my mum, This picture is my last memory with my mum in out homeland.

After my mother and I came to Australia in 2017, we saw Australia very beautiful and a safe country.

The first step I went to Navitas to learn English and after that I made friends from different nationalities, and I had very helpful teachers.
With my English I was able to take my mum to hospital, make her feel comfortable. As a daughter I was very proud. My second picture is my mum and I in Australia for her last birthday. This picture always makes me proud and happy.