Crucial partnerships making a difference

Asset Publisher

05 December 2023

Events and initiatives Public school life

Yousra Abou Ras’s story is one that highlights the success of important partnerships such as the one offered by Shenton College Deaf Education Centre. 

Yousra fled the Middle East with her family and spent seven years in a refugee camp before relocating to Perth in 2019.  

The family faced immediate difficulties managing housing, finances and visas.  They also encountered significant language barriers, with all interactions needing to be conducted through an Arabic/English interpreter.  

Yousra is also deaf. 

Yousra Abou Ras working at Hyatt Regency Perth.

She lacked a formal education and communicated using home sign language. In 2019, she began her educational journey at Shenton College Deaf Education Centre.  

She set out on a whole new journey. 

With the college's support, Yousra pursued a passion in hospitality and gained work experience at the Hyatt Regency Perth. She works in housekeeping and commends the hotel’s management for being so accommodating to her, especially considering her disability.  

“The Hyatt Regency Perth has supported me by providing the chance to work in a team and guiding me through the policies, procedures, and terminology associated with working in laundry and as a room attendant,” Yousra said. 

Clair Shreeve, VET Workplace Learning Coordinator at the college, said that it was so important for businesses to provide workplace opportunities for people with a disability, so they have equal access and equity to workplace learning.  

“The Hyatt Regency Perth is an equal opportunity employer who understands access and equity for all who seek to work in the hospitality arena,” she said.  

“They do not see Yousra’s disability; they see her as a hard-working young lady who is willing to prove herself in this environment so she can gain future employment and follow her dreams.” 

Yousra’s determination and motivation has seen her reach some amazing milestones, including obtaining a Certificate II in Hospitality at South Metropolitan TAFE Bentley. She has also been offered a work placement with the Hyatt Regency in 2024. 

She expressed her gratitude for the incredible support she received from the college, which introduced her to Auslan and provided her with numerous opportunities. 

“This has given me the opportunity to experience all the educational, social, and emotional aspects offered to all deaf students in this school,” Yousra said. 

As we acknowledge International Day of People with Disability (Sunday 3 December), it’s an opportune time to celebrate this, and similar, partnerships that run alongside our public schools.