Refugee Week (Sun 19-Sat 25 Jun) is a unique time when we can all celebrate the contribution refugees make to Australia – both culturally and economically. Our counsellors come from diverse backgrounds and speak many languages, and are committed to working with migrants and refugees who need counselling, mediation and support at any time after their arrival in Queensland.
One of our own staff members, Hanan, who is an administration officer and recently qualified Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, is a refugee from Sudan, where she lived until the age of 32.
In Sudan, Hanan worked for the International Labor Organisation assisting UN expatriate staff. She was a dedicated activist for the Human Rights Movements and due to her activity of these organisations became a target by the Sudanese Security Authorities. Subjected to several arrests and detained by the authorities multiple times, Hanan eventually escaped to Cairo with the assistance of community members, and lived there for three and a half years as an Asylum Seeker.
Hanan migrated to Australia as a refugee in the year of 2002 and began to work tirelessly with her own community, promoting social justice for the refugees, assisting women empowerment and working as a language support person. After initially studying an Adult Migrant English Program at Southbank TAFE, Hanan went on to complete two Diplomas in Community Development and Business Administration. In 2015 she was granted a scholarship through the Attorney-General’s Department and successfully completed her Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner Certificate at Bond University.
Hanan remembers her times of difficulties as a refugee:
“It was sad to leave my family members without saying goodbye to them………..I remember crying and missing my family.
Coming to Australia was good. However, I was feeling isolated and lonely….
What motivated me to go forward and build my hope for future was my decision to enroll in the Southbank TAFE to learn English offered for newly arrived refugees…..
Today, when I look back into my past, I am so grateful and feeling lucky for coming to Australia and being given open opportunity to study, be free to identify as who I am and assist other community members……..
I feel valued and respected!”
Hanan holds the following hopes for refugees, asylum seekers, and all newcomers.
- That refugees, asylum seekers may be welcomed and find peace in Australia as I did
- That they may find hope and restoration from the despair and persecution from which they have fled as I did
- For an end to the violence and poverty that displace so many of our sisters and brothers from their homes and homelands
- For our leaders in Australia and the international community to understand the meaning of peace and justice and that they may continue to lead, guide and support refugees, asylum seekers
- For our political leaders, that they may implement policies that allow for safe migration and just migrant working conditions, and put an end to the detention of asylum seekers, while protecting our national safety
Some thoughts taken from www.immigrationsundaymn.org
We are honoured to have Hanan on our team, along with all our staff from a variety of backgrounds, who make up the rich cultural diversity of Relationships Australia Qld.
INFORMATION ABOUT OUR MULTICULTURAL PROGRAMS
When we see you for an appointment, we take our service responsibility very seriously and feel honoured that you’ve approached us for help. Our standards of clinical practice are suitable for all ethnic populations. We are sensitive to the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) clients by accepting, respecting and understanding cultural differences.
If you have limited proficiency in English, we are able to engage a professional interpreter with the language you request. Call us on 1300 364 277 and tell us the language you speak – we will engage an interpreter immediately for you. Once we have located a professional interpreter, we can proceed to find out how we can help you. This is done at no cost to you. Our conversation with you to answer your inquiries are always conducted with a respectful manner to acknowledge your language background.