Concerned for the safety of their children, the family took up UN refuge in Lebanon, and in late 2014 were granted humanitarian visas to come to Australia. Ramia admits that when the family first arrived on our shores, they felt born again. “We were happy to be sent to Australia for many reasons. Australia is a peaceful country, it is good for the children’s education and the weather is good,” she says.
Not long after their arrival, the Alabdulla family was introduced to SydWest Multicultural Services and has since been actively involved in our settlement programs in a bid to settle in to their new life in western Sydney. Both parents have been attending English classes and taking part in SydWest’s information sessions to educate themselves about life in Australia. Ramia has already attended pathway courses at SydWest Multicultural Services with a view to building her resume and eventually finding work. Their older children have joined SydWest’s homework support sessions in Blacktown and have also enjoyed our youth holiday programs, taking part in swimming intensives and art lessons. In the meantime, Khalid has recently secured a job in before and after school care, and says he is grateful to Australia and to SydWest Multicultural Services for helping his family to settle successfully into their new country. "SydWest has been teaching us to depend on ourselves and we are very happy with the system in Australia,” he says.