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SydWest’s community engagement activities continued with a special presentation to the Mt Druitt TAFE students. The Settlement Services team visited classes for students from Arab-speaking countries (including Syria and Iraq), Afghanistan, Iran, Ethiopia, Eritrea and DR Congo to provide information on our services and how we can support them as they settle into Australia.
Thanks to some of our staff, bilingual sessions were possible, which the students appreciated, as they found it extremely useful, well-organised and unaware of the range of services available to them from SydWest.
After attending several classes, our staff then met with the students during their break and start to build a working relationship. Following the visit to TAFE Mt Druitt, SydWest Mt Druitt has been flooded with contact from new clients at the Mt Druitt office.
If you or anyone you know, needs help with their settlement in the local area, please contact us today.
SydWest’s Youth Team recently visited Canberra with a group of 26 young people from refugee backgrounds for a trip to both Old and New Parliament House, and a chance to learn about how the Australian Government operates.
The Youth group toured the houses of parliament where their guide explained the architectural aspects of the buildings and environmental and other features of the new building, as well as visited where our sitting members undertake their everyday work.
The visit provided education to our youth on how law is made in Australia and a chance for them to ask many of the questions they had about how parliament operates (eg sitting time, question time, etc). The trip provided to be fascinating, interesting and enjoyable for our young new arrivals and hope it stimulates them to learn more – and possible consider a career in politics in the future!
SydWest Multicultural Services runs a comprehensive youth development program that aims to support young refugees and migrants to settle, engage and participate in Australian society. For more information on the many services and supports available through the SydWest Youth Team, contact us today or visit http://www.sydwestms.org.au/
Football is known as the World Game, with culture being the stem for many individuals, families and communities. On the 19th of July, Football NSW in conjunction with SydWest Multicultural Services organised a community coaching session for newly settled refugees.
SydWest’s Youth Team pioneered this coaching qualification opportunity, with 25 young avid footballers from all kinds of cultural backgrounds participating in the program. The youth participated in the ALDI MiniRoos Certificate, as well as in a Grassroots Course for Youth Refugees and Migrants who had recently moved to Australia. The key focuses for day were leadership, teamwork and education, with hopes of the individuals staying with the program for the longevity of their football careers whether that be on or off the field.
The youth embrace training opportunities, build their teamwork and leadership skills and will go forward with their football passion by hopefully coaching in their local community.They were delighted to have that training & credentials and some of the participants are already coaching grass root kids and the training have added new skills to even be better coaches & leaders. (Ahmed Shmela, Youth TL).
The course was run by Football NSW Coach Education Manager Oscar Gonzalez with the assistance of Game Development Officers Kevin Guardado Amaya and Charlotte Ercil and the SydWest Youth Team.
Soheil Ettehadolhagh arrived in 2015 from Iran after fleeing religious persecution. With the help of SydWest, Soheil has been building a new life for his family in Blacktown and continuing his work as a professional photographer.
Soheil has been working with SydWest caseworkers to build his skills, confidence and financial independence in Australia. With more than 20 years’ experience in running a photography studio, Soheil established his new business in 2015 and trades as UNIPIC Photography (drawing on the name of his former business in Iran).
In working with SydWest, Soheil was introduced to Thrive Refugee Enterprise, which offers low-interest business loans to eligible refugees. Soheil was successful in securing a loan that has allowed him to invest in new photographic equipment, aimed at further growing his new business.
Soheil has provided his services to SydWest Multicultural Services to capture the moments of the Blacktown City Celebration of Refugee Week in Mt Druitt, the AGM and some corporate staff portrait photographs. Soheil’s work was also featured in the Beyond Refuge: citizensexhibition at Casula Powerhouse, organized as part of the Arts & Refugees Forum in 2016.
Soheil is now well-settled into the local Blacktown, Western Sydney community life. His wife and children are continuing their education at university. His love of photography, first ignited when he was 10 years old and visited his uncle’s photography studio, continues to bring new opportunities for him, as he enjoys taking a wide range of photographs in the local area.
If you are seeking the services of a local, experienced photographer and want to help Soheil to establish his new business, visit http://unipic.com.au/ for further information.
When 16-year-old Yaser arrived in Australia last year, he spoke little English and hadn’t been to school in over three years. His family had fled Iraq over three years ago, living in Jordan as refugees where there was little time for school.
When Khalid Alabdulla fled war-torn Syria in 2010 with his wife Ramia and their six children, they left everything behind except for the clothes on their backs.