About Us.

Multicultural Youth Support Services (MYSS) is a non-profit organisation that seeks to build resilience in young people who come from marginalised multicultural communities.  Supporting young people primarily within the African communities of  Victoria. We’re focused on facilitating connections and delivering practical and culturally appropriate services that strengthen our young people’s sense of belonging and achieves positive outcomes for families.

Guided by our vision that young people from refugee families are engaged, resilient, and thriving, we are:

community centred

We offer responsive and culturally appropriate services developed and led by our community.

FOCUSED

We are focused on achieving outcomes building resilience for young people with refugee backgrounds.

COLLABORATIVE

We are collaborative with the community and partner organisations to ensure that our members are given the very best opportunities.

HOLISTIC

We recognise the importance of families and the community in raising resilient children.

RESPONSIBLE

We take our responsibility to our members very seriously. We are dedicated to providing the absolute best support available

Young people from multicultural backgrounds have enormous potential to be active participants and contributors within Australian society.  However, young people experience settlement in ways distinct from adults, and as they navigate through life, growing up with cross-cultural knowledge and multilingual skills, their adaptability and resourcefulness can be impeded with significant barriers such as negotiating cultural identity, disruption to schooling, difficulties in accessing mainstream support groups and discrimination. We understand these challenges and have helped hundreds of other young people thrive through these conditions.

The work of MYSS also connects to the broader work with the South Sudanese Australian and other African communities across Victoria, and as we continue to partner with local organisations we acknowledge and thank the support of Department of Education and Training, City of Casey and The City of Cardinia,  Federation University, and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for their ongoing support.

It’s through our partnerships that our young people, and their families will continue to access resources and knowledge maximising the positive impact determined by the community, for the community.

BOARD MEMBERS

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PETER AGUTO

I was born in South Sudan. Like so many others, I was forced to escape from my birthplace due to the civil war and sought safety in another country. After a harrowing journey, I arrived in Australia in 2006, having fled through Egypt under the United Nations resettlement program, so I understand the impacts and life changing damage that can result from pre-migration and post-migration refugee experiences.

I trained as a Mental Health practitioner and achieved a Bachelor’s degree in Community Mental Health, Alcohol and other Drugs and I have continued this work as a community champion and counsellor specialising in helping people to recover from substance abuse.


I am passionate about helping disengaged, disadvantaged, and marginalised migrants and refugees, particularly young people and their parents from African backgrounds who have been subjected to intense trauma.


I am the founder and CEO of Multicultural Youth Support Services and have wide and deep networks with African communities in Melbourne and spiritual leaders that leverage our community work bringing people together to participate and provide their input to co-design events. I am currently undertaking case study research to identify and bridging intergenerational gaps - experiences of young African Australians in the juvenile justice system.

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Mary Olaniyan

Mary has been part of the vision and mission of MYSS since the conception of the vision in 2014. Mary has the inherent belief in young people as well as their ability to make change in their lives.

 

Mary has extensive work experience in health and community sectors in various roles and capacity.

 

A Registered Nurse, Midwife and Family Planning Clinical Services Provider from Nigeria. She completed Bachelor of Nursing (Post Registration) in Australia. Furthermore, I obtained Bachelor of Community Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs, where she also won Achievement Award - Chisholm Outstanding International Student of the Year in Higher Education and currently about completing Master of Counselling.

 

Currently working as a Registered Nurse (Division 1), in Alcohol and Other Drugs Therapeutic Community.

 

Mary also serves as the board secretary of Joyway Widows Foundation - a foundation supporting childless widows (60 years and above) in Nigeria. Joyway Widows Foundation is registered in Australia.

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Danyal Diallo

Coming to Australia Danyal found it hard to get along, he always felt this sense of displacement- living in a new country. It is from his own personal experience that he is able to recognise struggles in others and offers proven, first hand experience and support.

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