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Breaking Down Barriers | Momentary's Paid Internship Program

Creating a future of diverse voices in the media industry through employment

We teamed up with the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) to launch a paid internship program for young people facing barriers to employment. This month our first recruit Aref will finish his internship.

Meet Aref

Aref Ramazani is a young Hazara man who sought asylum in Australia in 2009.

A passionate photographer and video storyteller, Aref successfully completed a Bachelor of Communications Degree at RMIT in 2017, and is determined to use his skills to share stories of people making a positive impact in their community.

Aref says: “My big dream is to be a professional filmmaker, to make a documentary about people from refugee backgrounds.”

Diversity in media

We believe there is a lack of diversity in the media industry and only a handful of people are choosing which stories to tell and how to tell them. We want to change that.

Michael Johnston, Creative Director for Momentary, says: “What we’re trying to do is give people who are facing barriers to employment, an opportunity to break down those barriers. Ultimately, we hope this will help them tell their own story, and the stories of people in their community.

“It’s been a really fantastic experience having Aref on board. He is creative, passionate and driven, and has a different set of experiences to the rest of our team. He has a unique insight that other people aren’t able to bring to the projects we work on.”

Breaking down barriers

CMY is a not-for-profit organisation that empowers young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds to succeed in their new home, including through an employment program.

Jane Marx, Program Leader for CMY, says: “Getting a foothold into the labour market in Australia is vital for all young people, but it is particularly difficult for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, who face additional barriers to securing employment.

“We approach businesses as genuine partners in creating job opportunities for young people in our program, and then supporting them in the workplace ongoing.”

At Momentary we saw the shared value in providing an opportunity to a young person looking to get a start in the media industry. CMY introduced us to Aref, who was finding it difficult to get employment in the media industry, and he started a three-month paid internship with us.

Next steps for Aref

Now nearing the end of his internship, Aref has gained 100 hours of experience in video production. His final project will be to create his own short documentary with the support of the Momentary team.

Aref says: “I’ve been given that first step into the media industry and can use this as a reference for my future career. Not only do I get paid for it, every day on the job I learn something new."

The paid internship program will also continue at Momentary, with two more interns planned for 2018, and plans to grow the number of placements in 2019.

If you are working to make the world a better place, we would love to hear from you.

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