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Parenting & Family

Sometimes migrant community groups have cultural and social values about parenting and families which are different from mainstream Australian cultural and social values and norms. Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre addresses some of these issues by offering programs and projects specifically tailored to respond to the needs of migrant communities who might not find what they need in mainstream services.

  • Parenting in a new Culture (PINC)

    The Parenting in a New Culture – the preschool age was a project initiated and developed by Spectrum and funded through the Australian Government Department of Family and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) through the Early Intervention Program Strategy, which was, completed mid-2004. The project targeted migrant community groups whose cultural and social values regarding parenting and families are quite different from mainstream Australian cultural and social values and norms.

    The aim of the project is to increase the parenting skills of new migrant parents within three migrant and refugee community groups in the context of the new Australian social and educational environments and for the benefit of their young children through:

    • Strengthening and supporting parents’ roles and producing positive parenting outcomes.
    • Piloting and delivery of specific parenting orientation programs and skills development for parents of Pre School aged children from Arabic, Chinese and Samoan community groups.
    • Needs of more newly arrived communities (especially Congolese, Sierra Leonean, Liberian and Burundi). The needs of more established communities were addressed with the Intergenerational Fact sheets series. 

    Download Parenting Guide in 9 languages 

  • Intergenerational Conflict

    Over the years, Spectrum staff have identified an emerging need and a lack of options within the mainstream parenting services, addressing intergenerational conflict and parenting adolescents, in terms of courses being tailored for specific communities and addressing their specific needs.

    In 2006, Spectrum was successful in obtaining a funding from the Australian Government, Department of Family and Housing Community and Indigenous Affairs (FACSIA), for “Addressing inter-generational conflict in established and newly arrived communities” project. The project focused on 4 communities - targeting two established communities - former Yugoslavian and Turkish, and two newly emerging communities - Assyrian-Chaldean and Somali. This project was funded for the period of 15 months, from the end of November 2006 until end of February 2008.

    Key objectives of the project were:

    • To increase support for families with adolescents in developing strategies to address intergenerational conflict.
    • To establish a steering committee with representatives from the key community agencies and 4 targeted communities.
    • To involve parents and adolescent from those 4 targeted communities in focus groups.
    • To develop and deliver training courses tailored to these communities.
    • To use action research approach to ensure the focus stays on the needs identified by families.
    • To evaluate training courses and develop a training package.

    Tip sheets include:

    • Getting to know about the teenager years
    • Smart parenting of teenagers
    • How to discipline your teenager
    • Communicating with your teenager
    • Step by Step Quick Guide: Stop fighting
    • Bridging the “cultural” gap between yourself
    • Helping your teenager succeed in school
    • How to help raise a confident & resilient
    • How to stop stressing about your teenager
    • Resources and services for parents
    • Development of culturally and linguistically relevant parenting program targeting newly arrived emerging community groups.

    Download Intergenerational Conflict Fact Sheet in 5 languages 

    For further information, please contact Ewa Zysk on 03 9496 0206 or

  • Family Relationship Support Services

    As part of our research and development role, Spectrum takes on new and exciting projects. Spectrum is currently working with several organisations that seek to forge innovative approaches to working with new migrant and refugee groups.

    Currently, Spectrum offers the following programs:

    • Men & Family Relationships- targeting Iraqi, Sudanese, Kurdish and Somali communities
    • Parenting in a New Culture
    • Family Mediation within Arabic Communities
    • Parenting and Adolescent Consultant (Intergenerational Conflict Skills Development)
    • Family Relationship Centres – partners in the Broadmeadows and Greensborough offices.
       The Broadmeadows Family Relationship Center, which has been operating since July 2008, provides information and referrals for families at any stage of their relationships, as well as individual interviews, group and joint sessions (including family dispute resolution) for separating or separated families. The Centre also provides advice on parenting after separation and helps parents focus on the needs of their children. The Centre is run by a consortium of agencies: MacKillop Family Services, Relationships Australia, and Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre.

    Contact the Broadmeadows Family Relationship Center, call Dr Khairy Majeed on (03) 9351 3705 or email 

    Contact the Settlement & Family Services team on (03) 9496 0200 or email 

The African component of the Parenting in a New Culture program has been independently evaluated by Associate Professor André M.N. Renzaho– please view these articles from family and parenting journals which capture the impact of these programs on the communities we work with.