An interview with “Khun Phing” Ms. Orapin Borisutsawasd

a CETA guardian based in Melbourne

Orapin Borisutsawad (Ping)

Nationality: Thai

Age: 37 Years old

Related experience: Being a guardian for 8 years

Message to students:

To be a guardian, I feel a privilege that parents has trusted me to take care and look after their son/daughter when they live in Melbourne. I will play the important role in students life during they are in Melbourne. I give my students a support to have an easy way of settlement, adapting their lifestyle and live in Melbourne happily. I would like to make them conformable and feel like I am one of their family or friend who is here for them if they need help. They are not alone here.

All of my students have their own character and unique background, so it has been a challenging job for me to gain their trust and make them to open their mind. I also thank you them to make me learn and understand about life in different levels. When they are under my care, I will contact them very often in the first term to ensure that they have everything that they need to survive in new school such as books, uniforms, and important to ensure they have friends which play the biggest roles in their life. Homesick will be less and less after term 2 and they will learn to be more independent student and know things around them.

Most of the time, I try to ask students to think and come up with their solution than telling them what to do and I am trying to guiding and let them learn about life without judging them. Finally, I will look after them both academic and also spiritual to make sure they are happy to stay in Melbourne.

 

On being a guardian

Being a guardian is a vital mission that carries great responsibility. We need to explore ways to build up relationships with the children. We also need to get to know them personally as if we are a family member so that children will be encouraged to talk to us when they feel uncomfortable. This can be challenging because each child comes from a different family background. To reach each child, therefore, requires a different approach. In the early stages, when children come to study in a foreign country, they may easily feel lonely. Under our guardianship, they feel that at least they have us beside them to help and support them at this potentially difficult time. We are honoured that their parents entrust us to take care of their children and so we seek to fulfil our guardianship duties to our best ability.

Main duties of being a guardian

Our key duty is to take good care of the children, providing mental support and advice in the early stages of their adaptation to living in a new environment so that they are enable to study happily and enjoy life here. We co-ordinate and manage school matters, such as regulations and activities, that would normally require parental involvement. In addition, we liaise with the child’s parents and CETA regarding their studies and general wellbeing. We also oversee the child’s studies by attending parent/teacher interviews to determine if the child needs any assistance, as well as to be aware of the child’s behaviour while in school. On top of that, the child’s health and safety is also under our care. If a student is unwell, we would help and co-ordinate with the school, homestay and medical practitioners and inform their parents about their child’s condition so that their parents would be at ease.