SSI News Blog

Settlement Services International has celebrated its 15th Anniversary in the company of members, founders, friends and partners, who enjoyed food, music, dancing, speeches and an anniversary video at SSI’s Bankstown auditorium on November 18.

SSI 15th Anniversary
Indian dancer Arun Ghandi performing a story at SSI's 15th Anniversary.

The celebration marked 15 years since SSI (then called the NSW Migrant Resource Centre Association) was established as a provider of Humanitarian Settlement Services by its member migrant resource centres.

SSI went on to provide services and promote diversity, inclusion and meaningful social and economic participation for vulnerable communities, including refugees, humanitarian entrants and people seeking asylum in NSW. More recently, SSI has moved in to disability services through the Ability Links NSW program and employment services through the CoAct/Jobactive program to its growing

Guest speakers at the celebration included Australian human rights advocate Sev Ozdowski, Managing Director of Cultural Perspectives  Pino Migliorino, , and CEO Multicultural NSW Hakan Harman.

15th Anniversary
SSI Chair Kemalle Dabboussy, CEO Violet Roumeliotis and CEO of Multicultural NSW Hakam Harman.

SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis and Chair Kamalle Dabboussy spoke about SSI’s founding vision, history, recent growth and plans for the future.

Ms Roumeliotis said, “I think what kept SSI going for 15 years, why many of us are so driven, and why many of you are here today, is that Australia is a multicultural nation with many different communities, cultures, languages and religions, living together in harmony.

“It’s something that energises you to keep building. That’s what SSI’s leaders did 15 years ago and what we all do together still.”

A colourful highlight wasartist and choreographer Aruna Gandhi, who demonstrated her talents in Indian classical dance before being joined by two SSI clients.

15th Anniversary
Mohammad Al-Khalafi, SSI's Esta epaschalidis-chilas, Sev Ozdowski and Brad Chillcot.

Mr Dabboussy used the occasion to express SSI’s gratitude to the many individuals and organisations who had made outstanding contributions to the work of SSI. He announced the recipients of SSI certificates of appreciation:

  • Nabi Akram Centre
  • Dandelion Support Network
  • Mission of Hope
  • Wrap with Love
  • SAHELI
  • The Embroiderers Guild
  • Women Empowering Refugee Women
  • Jews for Social Action
  • Halal Food Bank
  • Margaret Bailey
  • Balmain for Refugees
  • Afghan Youth (AYANA)
  • Auburn District Cricket Club
  • Australian Iranian Community Organisation
  • Granville Men’s Shed
  • Holroyd Rangers Soccer Club
  • Mazi Mas
  • Newington Gunners Soccer Club
  • Old Knox Grammarians Association
  • Opal Dental
  • Parliament On King
  • Playfair Visa and Migration Services
  • Soroptimist International, The Hills District and
  • Soroptimist International, Hornsby

The celebration was followed by SSI’s Annual General Meeting, which received the 2014-15 Annual Report.

Success stories

Arzhang's Story

Arzhang Janipour posing in a suit.

I am Arzhang Janipour from Iran, and I’m 28. The reason I left Iran was because I had some problems. Of course I am missing my parents my father my mother, my brothers, my sister, my exercises and wrestling, my friends and my job from back in Iran.

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