Improving learner outcomes


Opening the School Gate resource | Acknowledgements


Opening the School Gate provides teachers and other school staff with a range of strategies to specifically encourage migrant and refugee parents/carers to fully participate in the educational experience of their children at school. The trialled and documented approaches outlined in this resource were originally developed in 2006 following a partnership pilot project, Connecting CLD Parents, involving the Centre for Multicultural Youth Issues (CMYI), Reconnect Services and two Victorian secondary schools.

This online version is based on the edition developed by the CMY in partnership with the NSW Department of Education (DoE) to foster engagement by migrant and refugee families in NSW Public Schools. Opening the School Gate was initially developed to support secondary schools but is also applicable to primary settings and other education systems.

Centre for Multicultural Youth

The Centre for Multicultural Youth is a Victorian not-for-profit organisation supporting young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds to build better lives in Australia.

Our purpose is to ensure that young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds have every opportunity to succeed in Australia. CMY was the first organisation in Australia to work exclusively with migrant and refugee young people. We’ve come a long way since 1988 but there are still significant challenges and much work to be done.

Young people can encounter significant barriers as they try to settle in Australia. Alongside the challenges of growing up, they are figuring out how things are done and adjusting to unfamiliar cultural, academic and social expectations.

Despite these complex issues we know that young people have the enterprise, resilience and optimism to contribute to the continued prosperity of Australia. By engaging them as experts in their own lives and focusing on their strengths, they can be empowered to adapt and thrive.

© Centre for Multicultural Youth, 2015 All rights reserved. Material in this resource may be reproduced, translated or adapted to meet local needs without prior permission, subject to acknowledgement of the resource. No commercial use or sale permitted.

Opening the School Gate was developed in 2006 by the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) following a pilot project funded by the federal Department of Family and Community Services through the Reconnect program. Copies of the original resource can be downloaded from

This online version is based on the edition adapted for use in NSW Public Schools with funding and advice provided by the NSW Department of Education.

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