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African Youth Forum

This Life Foundation recently hosted Young African - Australians Leaders at the African Youth Forum in Sydney, a space that provided an opportunity to engage in discussing the future of African-Australians in Australia. This forum, which was funded by The City of Canterbury Bankstown Council under the Small Grant Program was to discuss violent related activities broadcast in the media that undermines the potentials and wealth of positive contributions by the African-Australians communities to Australia`s development.

Oliver Zvinaiye Maboreke (JP)

Project Officer/Refugee, New and Emerging Communities Engagement  - LODESTAR Program (Western Sydney University)

The young leaders were joined by Hon.Jihad Dibs, the Shadow Minister for Education, Hon. Sophie Cotsis, the Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism and Mr. George A.Bousamra, the Director of SYNCORP CONSULTING.

During his engagement with young leaders at the forum, Hon.Jihad Dibs expressed his disappointment at the low level of teachers from Africa background in the education sector. He expressed the need to see this number rise and he called out to African-Australian teachers to use the opportunities available to maximise their potentials.


There is a call to teachers to join the sector, however; experiences show that it has been very difficult for teachers from African background to obtain permanent and fulltime jobs within the education sector in Australia. Most schools who have taken on teachers from African backgrounds has employed them as casual workers or teachers` Aid only even when they are highly educated and highly experienced.

I have lost interest in teaching due to continuous disappointments and being taken as second class teacher or citizen in this country especially when I do all the hard job at school without any recognition.

I am a qualified teacher and a highly experienced one but every school keep employing me as a casual teacher which gives me no security or rights in my job. I do all the hard and difficult jobs, I am called in to handle all the challenging events yet they cannot just employ me as a permanent staff; this is disgusting” ~ Ruth X (Not real name)

Mercy Akongo

Founder/Executive Director, This Life Foundation

Ruth is an African-Australian, qualified teacher who has been working for over 10 years as a teacher but for some unknown reason, she has never been offered a permanent and fulltime role as a teacher in Australia. Ruth is just one of the many African-Australian teachers who find it so difficult to penetrate the education recruitment system and to get recognised and valued as a teacher, worth employing permanently.

However, Hon.Jihad reminded the forum that, African-Australians are Australians and there is no difference between them and the rest of Australians. He urged the African-Australian communities to utilise the platforms available to ensure they are involved, participating, and contributing to the development of themselves and Australia.

A number of other issues were discussed at the forum including political representation, violence, mental health and access to proper and appropriate support for young African-Australians, to be able to excel in Australia. Due to lack of support, there is a rise in Mental health issues among young people from African background which has led to the breakdown of families and led to high rise in family/domestic violence.

A Call for Action


This Life Foundation is preparing to send a team of young people to the Australian parliament to make a submission carrying specific recommendations regarding opportunities for teachers from African background, proper political representaion of the African-Australian communities, social-economic support for young enterprenuers and business opportunities. The team will be accompanied by Hon.Jihad Dibs (Shadow Minister for Education) and Hon.Sophie Cotsis (Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism).

If you are interested in adding your voice to the submission, please get in contact with us by sending an email with your contribution to the email:

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