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Settlement Services International (SSI), a leading not-for-profit humanitarian settlement organisation, has welcomed as significant and positive the announcement by the NSW State Government to sign up to the Federal Safe Haven Enterprise Scheme.

From July 1, eligible asylum-seekers will be able to apply for this new type of temporary protection visa that will facilitate them living in any part of NSW, excluding Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle for up to 5 years.

SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said: “The Baird Government’s announcement and the SHEV scheme give renewed hope to asylum seekers currently living in the community.  And we’re pleased to see that other states are now also considering joining the scheme.

“The new scheme can benefit both rural communities and asylum seekers: we know there are often problems finding workers in parts of the state and our clients tell us they’re keen to work and contribute to the community.

“Service providers like SSI, that currently work with asylum seekers and understand their needs, have some suggested ideas around service models that will support communities and those taking up the new visas.

“Access to services will support community integration and help people to get sustainable employment,” said Ms Roumeliotis.

Media enquiries:

SSI Marketing & Communications Manager Angela Calabrese, 0401 284 828

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Hameed

My name is Hameed Cina. My life in Australia today is the life of a normal citizen, ordinary by any standard. I’m married, I have two young daughters and I have a good job that I love. I also volunteer a lot of my free time for my community. But the way in which I arrived at this point in my life was definitely not ordinary.

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