My name is Andy and, together with Angie, I started the Refuge of Hope to support the many Latin American people living in Australia. I have a strong connection with the Latin American community and love to see people have a place to belong and grow when they are in Australia.
Why did you start the Refuge of Hope?
As Angie talked about many of her classmates at English School in Melbourne when she was a new migrant in 2010, we both quickly became aware of many needs for new Spanish-speaking people living in Australia. Sometimes it was simple things for us, like how to buy a train ticket or other times a bigger issue in life. We wanted to help Latino’s make a happy and healthy transition to their new life and connected with them in their cultural experiences to all of us in Melbourne
What do you do for the Refuge of Hope?
I help as a volunteer in fundraising and as a community supporter. We have many people in Melbourne who are keen to support new migrant programs and help build social cohesion. I introduce the work of RoH to Trusts and Foundations in Melbourne.
What does the Refuge of Hope mean to you?
It is about friendship, support and culture. The Latin American population in Melbourne is fast growing, but yet often overlooked. I am delighted to be associated with a network of people who are caring towards this people group.
What is the best thing about the Refuge of Hope?
It’s the spirit of South America within an organisation in Melbourne. It encompasses connectedness, family, fun and culture.
What is the best part of working with the Latin American community?
Learning more about people and their stories from other parts of the world. I am slowly learning Spanish and trying to dance like a Latino. I love the sense of family and community within the Latin American culture