Community Liaison Officer, Melton Secondary College, Melbourne
Bachelor of Health Science in Health Promotion
Diploma in English Language
Certificate in English for Academic Study
Certificate in English Language
He loves working with communities and youth, says AUT health promotion alumnus Robert Aduer Ring.
“As a community liaison officer for Melton Secondary College in Melbourne, I work with the community and students to provide support by liaising with service providers and with teachers.
“I value my work hugely. It connects me with young people to help them with their aspirations and ambitions, while working closely with families and agencies that address community needs through capacity building. I can inspire people and be inspired.”
In addition to his work, Robert is also part of a number of community groups and organisations, including an African community working group, the Regional Advisory Council for the Victoria Multicultural Commission and the African-Australian Taskforce. He says he is passionate about community engagement initiatives.
“I’m actively involved in various community initiatives and engagements through volunteering engagements and advocacy. I was honoured to be nominated in the Citizen of the Year category in the 2018 City of Melton Council Community Achievement Award.”
The bigger picture
He has always been passionate about health, says Robert.
“My mother worked for Doctors Without Borders, and I initially wanted to be a medical doctor like her. Watching her improve the community’s health through education, preventive and curative medicine, as well as the medical aspects of her role, made me realise how crucial community engagement and capacity building is.
“Studying health at AUT gave me the opportunity to share some of the lectures with students who are studying nursing, paramedicine, psychology and other disciplines. It was a great interdisciplinary learning process, and I enjoyed sharing classes with students from all walks of lives.”
Having realised the importance of a holistic approach to health, Robert focused on community engagement throughout his studies.
“Community engagement and capacity building was a focus during my time at AUT. For example, I was one of the co-founders of the AUT African Students Club. We wanted to showcase the unique cultures in Africa, and promote cultural awareness and African diversity. With AUT’s support, we achieved our outcomes through a number of cultural events and workshops.”
The journey to success
Robert was first introduced to AUT in 2004, when he arrived in New Zealand as a refugee from South Sudan.
“When I came to New Zealand, I arrived at the Mangere Resettlement Centre where AUT offers pathways to newly arrived and resettled refugees. Many refugees who had their education interrupted by civil war use these programmes to prepare themselves before pursuing a career in New Zealand.
“I studied English language programmes at the AUT North Campus to build my academic strength and set the foundation for my career. These courses were a huge part of my success as they helped me start the journey towards completing my goals; a journey that had been interrupted by war and migrating from country to country.”
There were many highlights throughout his time at AUT, Robert says.
“I received incredible support from university staff, my fellow students and colleagues. I shared classes with different people, which shaped and inspired me. I’m also grateful for the skills and training I gained from working as a student mentor and at AUT’s Student Hub. I also have to thank Associate Professor Ineke Crezee for motivating me to do a short course in interpreting, which helped me secure interpreting opportunities when I first moved to Melbourne.”