Youth Lens project

The Youth Lens research project aimed to gain insight into young people’s experiences as they built new lives in Australia.

We brought together seven young people with refugee experiences, who were participants in the Youth Transitions Support Pilot. They created photo stories using an approach called Photovoice (video).

They chose what to photograph, wrote the accompanying text and identified some of the opportunities and challenges they encountered. They also provided input into the design of this site.

For privacy, we asked the young people to choose pseudonyms and not take photographs that identified people. Some of the images were staged and some depict content that viewers might find challenging.

The young people

Five women and two men living in in Melbourne’s fast-growing outer north participated in Youth Lens. Aged between 19 and 23, they were born the Middle East, South Asia and East Africa, and had lived in Australia for between one and six years. Six of them were studying while holding one or two casual jobs. One had completed her studies and was working casually while applying for additional work. The young people built their English skills either prior to their arrival or through formal studies in Australia.

Youth Transitions Support Pilot

The Youth Transitions Support Pilot is a federally funded program that aims to support young people aged 15 to 25 with recent refugee and migrant experiences to participate in sports, education or work. The Brotherhood of St Laurence has delivered the pilot since May 2016 in Melbourne’s northern Hume municipality with five local organisations – Arabic Welfare, Banksia Gardens Community Services, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Hume City Council, and Spectrum.

The Youth Transitions Support Pilot reflects the Brotherhood’s strategic commitment to delivering programs and practice models which aim to strengthen community networks and harness community altruism to help equip disadvantaged people and communities with the opportunities, networks and resources they need to thrive.


The Youth Lens project was made possible by the seven participants who committed their time, ingenuity and hard work to create their photo stories. They called themselves Adam, Bahar, Isabella, Jack, Meme, Octavia and Scarlet.

Special thanks to Julia Baron and Georgina Wheeler for their work on the project.

This site was developed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence.


Youth Lens
Dina Bowman
Principal Research Fellow, Work and Economic Security
Research and Policy Centre, Brotherhood of St Laurence

Youth Transitions Support Pilot
Courtney Green
Regional Manager – Youth, North West
Youth Transitions, Brotherhood of St Laurence

For more information about our research, visit our work and economic security research page.

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