‘Anyone can build a future’: private sector heeds the call to help refugees forge way in Australia

by admin on July 13th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

From a life spent dodging bullets in his war-torn village in Burma, refugee Htun Htun has found himself in a more welcoming place.
Nanjing Night Net

At central Melbourne’s Swanston Hotel, where he has worked as a cleaner for more than two years, the 35-year-old is known for his beaming smile and says he is “friends with the whole hotel”.

Mr Htun is one of a growing number of refugees being aided by the Australian private sector, as governments the world over say they alone cannot solve the global migrant crisis.

“I [clean] the public area … and I also deal with guest requests, like shower gel, pen or paper or whatever. I have to send for them,” the married father-of-two from Werribee said.

“Being a cleaner is my favourite job, because I can meet with a lot of people – the guests, the staff, everybody. I like to talk with people; I meet people from all over the world.

“The people treat me like a father and son. I am happy to be here.”

The US government last month issued a call for the private sector to contribute to global efforts to resettle refugees, saying there are more than 65 million displaced people in the world and “a crisis of this scale … requires more than government action”.

In Australia, the federal government last year announced an emergency intake of 12,000 Syrian refugees. NSW Co-ordinator-General for Refugee Resettlement Peter Shergold said private sector help was “crucial” in successfully resettling them.

“When refugees arrive they want peace and security for their family, education for their children and employment for themselves and the opportunity to build family businesses,” he said.

“We have to collaborate with the business sector in order to make it work.”

A NSW refugee employment program, due to start in October, will interview refugees and connect them with suitable employers. They include Woolworths, Australia Post, Harvey Norman, Accor Hotels, First State Super and AMP.

Allianz Australia is also employing refugees – developing their English skills and delivering training in insurance and general business acumen.

Diversity and sustainability manager Charis Martin-Ross said the program, in conjunction with Settlement Services International, hired people who “have often lost everything and are often starting again”.

“But they bring with them a strong skill set, extensive experience, plus high levels of motivation and resilience,” she said.

The first group of new employees included three women and two men from Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Vietnam.

In Sydney, Iraqi refugee Nader Sameer is training to be a bricklayer after fleeing the rubble-strewn streets of Baghdad. In coming weeks he and other students will begin paid jobs with private construction firms.

Speaking to Fairfax Media through an interpreter, the 38-year-old, who lives in Sydney’s Fairfield, said he one day hoped to run his own business.

“[Australia] is a good country and anyone can build a future in it,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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