Education Resources

Supporting your child’s education

An ACT Council of Parent’s and Citizen’s Associations and Companion House information sheet for migrant and refugee parents of school aged children in the ACT, available in:







Education opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers in the ACT

RCOA education information

The Refugee Council of Australia has compiled information for each state and territory, including the ACT, on school, vocational education and training, and university study oporuntities.

English as an Additional Language or Dialect

ACT Education English as an Additional Language or Dialect support

ACT public schools provide support for English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) learners who are still developing proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in English. The ACT Education Directorate funds schools to support EAL/D learners so they can receive English language instruction from a qualified teacher.

Students are also able to attend an Introductory English Centre (IECs), which are co-located in six schools across Canberra. IECs provide intensive English language support to newly arrived students in Kindergarten to Year 12 with little or no English. IECs are a safe and inviting place to introduce school life in Australia to students.

Ideas and insights for teachers working with students from a refugee background

Tips for Teachers

A Companion House resource for teachers working with students from a refugee background.

Classrooms of Possibility: Working with students from refugee backgrounds in mainstream classrooms

This 2018 report presents outcomes from the Classrooms of Possibility: Working with students from refugee backgrounds in mainstream classes research project that addressed the nature of teaching and learning practices within mainstream classes with significant numbers of students from refugee backgrounds in NSW schools. The project was conducted by researchers at the University of Technology Sydney and funded by the NSW Department of Education and Communities.

The Transition of Refugee Students from Intensive English Centres to Mainstream High Schools: Current practices and future possibilities

This 2014 report is an investigation into the transition of refugee students from Intensive English Centres (IECs) to high schools. This period of transition has been identified by researchers, consultants and teachers as a challenging time for refugee students and students with refugee-like experiences. The purpose of the research was to address this issue by developing a better understanding of the educational experiences and challenges that refugee students face in the transition. The research was conducted by Jennifer Hammond at the University of Technology Sydney and funded by the NSW Department of Education and Communities.

STARTTS Hints for Healing Website

Hints for Healing

Hints for Healing is a website dedicated to curating practical resources, case studies, podcasts, professional learning, interviews and research articles to support educators and school counsellors who play an instrumental role in the recovery, resettlement and development of learners with a refugee experience.

Health Resources

ACT Health Services

Using Health Services in in the ACT

Using Health Services in the ACT is a helpful introduction to the ACT health system. It includes information in simple English on Medicare, Centrelinkk concession cards and the ACT Access Card; how to book a doctor’s appointment and what to ask; medicines and pharmacies; specialists; dental; hospitals and the use of emergency departments and ambulances.

ACT Services Access Card

ACT Access Card

The ACT Services Access Card is an ACT Government concession card for asylum seekers. It provides card holders with access to a range of ACT Government services and programs. In terms of health care, the Access Card provides asylum seekers with full medical care including pathology, diagnostic, pharmaceutical and outpatient services in ACT public hospitals, including public dental and community health services (some of these services may have a cost), and the ACT Ambulance Service for medical emergencies.

Applications for an ACT Services Access Card can be made at Companion House.  Contact us on (02) 6251 4550 or use our Contact Us form.

ACT Health App

ACT Health mobile app

The ACT Health App gives users real-time information on wait times, treatment times, locations and travel directions for their nearest Walk-in Centre or emergency department – helping them to decide where to go in the ACT for healthcare.

Health Translations

Health Translations website

Health Translations is a free online library of high-quality translated Australian health and wellbeing information. Made for Australian health practitioners and people who work with culturally and linguistically diverse communities, the site provides quick access to a wealth of reliable resources.

Counselling and Recovery Resources

Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Trauma and Torture (FASSTT)

FASSTT From the darkness to the light, 2011

This is a 2011 report on the work of FASSTT and its member agencies, including: a profile of clients
assisted by the Program of Assistance for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (PASTT), and more broadly by FASSTT agencies during 2009/10; and a series of case studies that give an insight into the experience
of survivors of torture and trauma in Australia and the programs FASSTT agencies have implemented to work with them.

FASSTT Never turning away: Australia’s world-leading Program of Assistance for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (PASTT), 2017

This is a 2017 review of the activities and significant achievements of the Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT) during the last decade. This title summarises the ethical commitment to victims, whose aspirations are at the base of the work of all Australian rehabilitation providers.

Refugee Journeys Resources

Refugee Transitions Magazine

Refugee Transitions

Refugee Transitions is a magazine produced by STARTTS, a specialist, not-for-profit organisation that provides culturally relevant psychological treatment and support, and community interventions, to help people and communities in NSW heal the scars of torture and refugee trauma. Issues can be downloaded for free.

Refugee story collections from various organisations

Refugee Council of Australia’s Refugee Stories webpage

University of Melbourne Researchers for Asylum Seekers Refugee Stories

Canberra Refugee Support Stories

Dinka Folktales from Sudan

Dinka Folktales from Sudan contain six traditional Dinka folktales with full-colour illustrations and is accompanied by an audio CD in English and in Dinka

The Dinka people are originally from Sudan. They were caught up in civil war in that country for many years. As a result, many have been forced to flee their country as refugees, living for years in refugee camps before coming to Australia. Despite hardship and trauma, they have mnaged to keep many of their traditional stories from being lost completely. Now a group of Dinka women have brought together six of these stories in a book/CD that is illustrated by Dinka children aged 5 – 12.

These folktales represent stories of hope, humour and strength and will be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Dinka Folktales from Sudan will be a valuable resource for libraries and schools as well as for community organisations and anyone wanting to learn more about Dinka culture. The CD is designed to help support Dinka speakers who are learning English in settings such as Primary and Secondary Introductory English Centres, ESL settings in schools, and adult English classes.

The cost is $30.00 per copy, including postage and handling, or you can pick it up from Companion House at a cost of $25.00.

To order your copy please phone Companion House on (02) 6251 4550 or use our Contact Us form.

How to find us


By Bus from Belconnen: Bus Route 32 By Bus from Civic: Bus Route 32 Tell the driver you want to get off at Cook Community Hub near Cook Shops. By Car: Come to Cook Community Hub, 41 Templeton St Cook – free parking is available. Our main entrance is in from the end of the building closest to Cook Shops. Come and knock on the door and we will come to help you.

Contact Us

61 2 6251 4550

41 Templeton St Cook ACT 2614 Australia