Indyana Chambers Galloway (current Scholar) chats to us about her work with Mettamorphosis

2013 Indyana Chambers Galloway

I’ve recently commenced an internship program with Mettamorphosis, a Western Australian not-for-profit. Mettamorphosis aims to raise awareness and funds to support the educational needs of displaced children. It places emphasis on human rights and social justice for refugees and asylum seekers, with work undertaken at the grass-roots level. The organisation currently maintains funding and support for 3 schools for Burmese Chin refugee children in Kuala Lumpur.

The director of Mettamorphosis, Marilyn Metta, produced and directed the documentary film “How I Became a Refugee” in 2014. The film follows the journey of a Burmese Chin family from their homeland as refugees of religious persecution from a military government as they travel through Malaysia before resettlement in Australia. The film was a finalist for the IAFOR Documentary Film Award (2015), and won the Awards of Recognition at 3 prestigious international film competitions in 2015. It was produced as a component of a project to raise awareness and educate towards understanding of the experiences and challenges faced by displaced people.

A study guide aimed at primary and secondary students has been recently released to accompany the documentary. Along with the documentary film, this forms a national educational project undertaken in collaboration with the teachers and educators in high schools across Australia. Mettamorphosis is currently formulating a research project that aims to measure attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers in high school students, and how these change after viewing the “How I Became A Refugee” study package. This project will be undertaken in Australian high schools throughout the rest of 2016.

To assist in this project, the organisation has created an internship program. This program provides hands-on mentoring for a range of skills development including understanding of the organisational policies and financial processes of not-for-profits, as well as development and undertaking of social justice-based research projects. As I undertake this internship, a prominent focus for me will be gaining mentoring and experience in how social justice thinking is formulated in research, and how this can be translated into real-world applications and impacts. In having interest in areas of global social justice issues, I believe it to be important to use time during my undergraduate degree to learn basic skills required to pursue this work further in the future. Furthermore, Mettamorphosis gives an insight into a wide range of individual perspectives on a global issue.

Given the current global geopolitical situation, I am drawn to work of not-for-profits and policies that minimise cost while maximising individual human rights and wellbeing. Mettamorphosis is creating a body of research that measures Australian attitudes towards Asylum seekers, and how these attitudes change and can be changed over time. This creates invaluable resources for effective sustainable policy solutions to the global refugee crisis.

Should any scholars be interested in the internship program, please feel free to contact me or the CEO at M.Metta@curtin.edu.au

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