Academic & Professional Wellbeing

Community Asset + Wellbeing Deficiency:

Among international students around the world, there is a large pool of highly talented young professionals and entrepreneurs.

International students from Latin America are not the exception. Most of them have already completed bachelor degrees at a minimum and have years of experience by the time they go overseas to upgrade their qualifications undertaking English courses or Master's degrees.

Besides studying, they are eager to gain some international experience for their careers, and/or start small businesses while overseas. Unfortunately, despite having work rights while studying in countries like Australia, professional opportunities for international students and support for international entrepreneurs are scarce, and limited to unpaid internships, which students must pay for in most cases.

This is mainly due to language barriers and a lack of Australian qualifications and experience, as well as to local employers’ unawareness about the pool of international talent and expertise on their footstep.

As a result, many international students in Brisbane (Australia) end up employed in unskilled occupations unrelated to their professions (i.e. cleaners in most cases), and even sometimes exploited, to assist their living expenses while overseas. This mismatch leads to a large waste of talent, frustration, depression and demotivation affecting not just their international experience but also their psychological wellbeing.

Our Responses:

  • Entrepreneurship Project:

Our entrepreneurship project aims to support the aspirations and professional development of Latin American students in Brisbane through the development of entrepreneurship projects related to their professions. Furthermore, it intends to profile their talent and professional skills while also contributing to their professional, economic, social and psychological wellbeing.

It also responds to a growing need of finding and creating new employment opportunities and fair alternatives for highly talented but unsupported international professionals and informal entrepreneurs living in Brisbane.

To this end, we support, find and create opportunities for them to apply their professional knowledge and expertise. We also offer assistance, industry connections and modest grants (depending on availability of funding), for the development and growth of entrepreneurship initiatives.

Our past and current entrepreneurship initiatives

Among Latin American students in Brisbane, there is a significant pool of passionate and dedicated creative arts professionals including professional playwrights, theatre and film directors, photography directors, sound engineers, musicians, actors, dancers among many others. Some of them have gotten together and created their own small businesses in the area to continue their practice in their professions. This is the case of El Telon Theatre Company, Maquinaciones Creativas and Kolor 8.

To date and thanks to Migrate’s seed funding, we have been able to support some of their entrepreneurial intents. Likewise, these companies have been able to bring together a wide community of international students and professionals to participate in various audio-visual projects and events, including the production of high-quality short films and corporate videos for clients such as the Queensland Government among others. Some of their productions include:

  • All 4 the Love (2015) was one of the very first short films produced by El Telon Theatre Company. It was especially made for participating at The 48-Hour Film Project in 2015. In this contest, EL Telon and all other competitors had 48 hours to produce a short film on an assigned genre (romance in their case) including a given character, prop and line of dialogue. Despite being a homemade production, All 4 the Love developed a very creative story around the given prop and genre. In addition, El Telon was the only team of international students participating in this contest. Wellbeing for Communities provided a modest grant for this production.
  • Underground Ballads (2016) was a live musical produced by El Telon Theatre Company and Maquinaciones Creativas for participating at Anywhere Theatre Festival in 2016. This musical was set in a time of political unrest when a group of people meet in a Latin Bar to secretly plot and attempt to overthrow the current regime. A Brisbane’s night club became the live stage of the musical, making their real clients part of the paly. Underground Ballads won one of the Festival’s awards. The promotion of this production was proudly supported by Wellbeing for Communities.
  • Los Daunander (2016) was an initiative of the Latin American Community (LACA-QLD) with the support of Wellbeing for Communities which commissioned El Telon Theatre Company to produce a high quality short film telling the story of the Latin American community in Australia. Maquinaciones Creativas, Kolor 8, Manuel Ruiz among other international students were part of this production. Los Daunander opened the University of Queensland’s Latin American Film Festival in 2016. It was also presented at the AV Short Film and Video Art Festival where it won the silver award. Wellbeing for Communities provided a modest grant for this production.
  • Still Life (2016) was a dark comedy short film produced by El Telon Theatre Company, Maquinaciones Creativas and Kolor 8 for participating at The 48-Hour Film Project in 2016. Given its high quality production, it received two nominations: one for best supporting actress and another for best make up. Wellbeing for Communities provided a modest grant for this production.
  • International Students Advancing Queensland (2016) was a corporate video produced by Kolor 8 and Wellbeing and Communities for the International and Training Unit of Trade & Investment Queensland. The video intended to present the advantages that international students bring to Queensland in addition to contributing to its economy. The interesting fact about this video was that it was about international students and produced by them as well. Wellbeing for Communities obtained this opportunity to profile the professional talent and expertise of Latin American students behind this production. Many thanks to the Queensland Government for believing in the professional talent of international students and providing them this amazing opportunity.

In addition to these, we have also supported other professional development initiatives created by international students such as:

An initiative of an international student and theatre director by profession aimed to create new opportunities to practice English through theatre improvisation classes.

An initiative of an international student who practices meditation and who wants to contribute to the spiritual wellbeing of others.

Please contact us if you would like to engage or support in any form our entrepreneurship project.

  • Professional Internships:

Internships constitute an excellent way for international students to gain international experience in their careers. As such, our professional internships project intends to find and create professional opportunities for Latin American students in Brisbane in which they can put into practice their professional skills.

Thanks to Migrate, we have been able to offer paid professional internships to Latin American as well as Australian students in Brisbane in the following disciplines: information technology, accounting, marketing, graphic design, information management, international studies, as well as industrial and electronics engineering.

We are currently looking for other businesses in any industries who would like to give a chance to international students to demonstrate their talents, skills, experience and eagerness in part time or casual positions. Un-paid internships are also welcomed.

  • Latin Talent Catapult:

Our Latin Talent Catapult is a project coming soon which intends to profile the professional talent, skills and experience of Latin American students in Brisbane, as well as to connect them with prospective Australian employers through the development of a directory of Latin American professionals living in this city.

Please contact us if you are a hard-working Latin American professional and would like to join our directory, or if you are an Australian company interested to learn more about the skilled professionals in our community.